I was first assaulted yesterday on Facebook where several liberal friends said it. Then it made the press, lawmakers joined the chorus and soon the op-eds started to appear. What am I talking about? Why the wonderful and bigoted phrase “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.” I am sorry, but that is raw bigotry – dismissive and demeaning to the millions of Americans and billions around the world that believe in He who receives the prayer. In millions of homes in the nation, somewhere is a little gee-gaw of some sort that says “Prayer Changes Things.” Why is it there? Because prayer actually does change things.
At first I just snorted and thought about how people will say anything to move their agenda forward; it’s just politics. But then I reflected on how they are trying to advance their agenda – they are trying to shame people of faith, and I for one will not be ashamed of my faith. Some have tried to respond by discussing how prayer changes us and pointing out some of the “useless” things liberal do, illuminating their hypocrisy. Fair enough, but prayer accomplishes far more than changes us and the liberal hypocrisy runs far deeper than their demonstrative but otherwise useless sit-ins, etc. Liberals were fine with “thoughts and prayers” after the hurricanes because they could not pass a law to ban hurricanes. Oh, but when there is a law to pass there is shame to be spread for praying – now that is hypocrisy.
You would think liberals would pray themselves in the wake of something as evil as what happened in Las Vegas because guns are at best the proximate cause of the tragedy. The ultimate cause is the evil in the shooters heart, whatever it may have been. They may be able to take away the guns with law, but no law can fix that evil. Prayer can fix that evil, but no law can. So either the liberals insulting me and millions of other believers in this fashion don’t believe prayer can actually change things or they don’t believe in evil. Probably both.
Moreover, no law can provide hope to the wounded and comfort to those that lost. Further there are limits to how much we can provide in relationship to those people. But God, in response to our prayer, can give that hope and comfort in endless supply. I lost my father in an auto accident; his vehicle was hit by a logging truck that was speeding and failed to brake in a place where the law clearly demanded braking. He was in Mississippi at the time and logging is huge business there. As I looked into things, logging truck related fatalities are huge in Mississippi. I did some research and came up with some ways that might improve the situation. I contacted political friends in Mississippi and was told that the industry was too big and too powerful to touch. So I turned to political connections in the federal government. One of them, a friend, said “John, you’ll find no real comfort in a crusade.” That stopped me dead in my tracks. He was right. In the end I found my comfort in prayer and in my Lord.
This world is full of stories where prayer really does accomplish good. They are countless. The Bible is full of such stories. But for every such story recorded, there are thousands, if not millions, of such stories unrecorded. There are some things that are simply beyond humanity’s capabilities. But there is nothing beyond God’s capabilities. Prayer taps into God’s capabilities, not ours. That means prayer can accomplish more than the dismissive liberal ever dreamed of, but it also means God will be in charge of what does happen not the liberals.
I will not be dismissed, demeaned or shamed. Prayer is often enough.