“What good do thoughts and prayers do?” the people ask. “They don’t stop the evil, the atrocities. They don’t meet the desperate needs.”
They have a point.
I fully believe in the power of prayer. I’ve witnessed what it can do in hurting lives and desperate situations.
I also believe a lot of the “thoughts and prayers” sent out into the world aren’t much more than the breath that carries them. However, I’m not here to say who’s genuine and who isn’t. That misses the point.
The point is, they cannot be our only response.
We need those thoughts and prayers. We need people on their knees pleading for healing, restoration, and change. We need hearts full of compassion.
It cannot stop there, though. We need action. We need wisdom put into motion. Compassion with feet and hands.
No longer can we tell someone who went through tragedy, through he’ll, that we’re there with them in spirit. What good does it do them to wish them well?
In the quote above, James (who happened to be Jesus’ brother, if you didn’t know) tells us that it takes some elbow grease. Action makes the difference between empty words and true belief.
This does not negate the importance of prayer. It is vital. But it should go forward locked arm-in-arm with action. It equips us with wisdom and open eyes to see the best path forward.
And we need to see that path now more than ever.
I am someone that immediately turns to prayer. I probably don’t couple it with action enough. It can be difficult to know what action to take. I usually leave that in the hands of those “wiser” than me. However, it’s clear to me that I can’t rely on the “wiser” as much as I once did. So, I pray more, because action needs to happen and I (we all) need to see how to make sure it has the biggest and most effective impact.
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