Hespeler, 18 November, 2018 © Scott McAndless
Matthew 6:5-8, James 2:14-17, Psalm 138
hy pray? That seems to be a question that people ask with increasing urgency these days. We are living in a time when “thoughts and prayers” have become a very unfortunate cliché. Every time there is a tragedy, every time a gunman walks into a school and opens fire or a man walks into a synagogue and starts mowing people down, it has become a part of the national liturgy.
Political leaders, celebrities and religious officials send out their Facebook messages and tweets: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.” And people have caught on. They have recognized that “thoughts and prayers” has become a kind of a code – a code that seems to mean, “Let’s not do anything and, for God’s sake let’s not change anything just because some tragedy has occurred. Instead let us say something that makes it seem like we care.” It is amazing to see, but we are to be living in a time when praying for something, for many people, has become a synonym for doing nothing. And so, yes, people are asking, “Well then, why pray?”