Thoughts and prayers has become, like many things in our society, a battleground phrase.
There are faith and political leaders who use the phrase as an easy way out to avoid addressing gun violence, domestic violence, natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, war and refugee crises in Latin America, Africa, and Europe, and the countless other crises facing humanity. All while refusing to commit to legislative or institutional changes to address the issues. Prayer is an important element of connecting with one’s faith but prayers must be realized through action.
To political and faith leaders hiding behind their weekly tweets of “thoughts and prayers” we say this, it’s time to answer the call to conscience and commit to action.
In America, thoughts and prayers cannot be the solution to mass shootings in schools and gun violence in our neighborhoods. In Ukraine, thoughts and prayers cannot end the threat to democracy and the suffering in the midst of war. In Sudan, thoughts and prayers cannot end the civil war or give fleeing refugees humanitarian aid.
In Afghanistan, in Venezuela, in Iran, in China, in Yemen, in the Holy Land, in our own communities; thoughts and prayers alone cannot be the answer from our political and faith leaders. It’s time for action! Our world is in agony and if our leaders can’t commit to action, it’s time for them to step down.
It’s perhaps auspicious that today is National Day of Prayer, celebrated on the first Thursday of May to mobilize unified public prayer for America, to contemplate this divisive issue. Whether you are a faith leader, political leader, institution, or an individual; beyond thoughts and prayers, let’s commit to action.
© Parliament of the World’s Religions
® Parliament of the World's Religions name and logo are trademarks of the Parliament of the World's Religions.