Do Your Thoughts and Prayers Matter?

Today yet another tragedy took place. This time a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas. At least 58 killed. More than 500 injured. I’m heartbroken.

In the face of a one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, there are really no words to grasp the magnitude of what’s happened. Whether you’re religious or not, even if you’ve never set foot within a church or temple, when you don’t know what else to say, so often the words that come out are:

“My thoughts and prayers are with you.”

We post it online and others do the same.

A question I confess I’ve asked as a pastor, and a question I’m guessing you’ve asked as well is this:

“Do my thoughts and prayers really matter?”

A question I confess I’ve asked as a pastor, and a question I’m guessing you’ve asked as well is this: “Do my thoughts and prayers really matter?”

Do they matter when hundreds are waking up with the news that their loved one has been killed by a shooter? When hurricanes destroy entire islands? As earthquakes devastate the lives of thousands?

My honest answer? Yes. Your thoughts and prayers do matter when the unimaginable happens, when your world falls apart, and here’s why.

  • Thoughts show you care.

Ever had someone say they’re thinking about you? It’s comforting, right? You feel cared for, loved, known, reassured.

Letting someone know you’re thinking about them, especially during tragedy, assures them that they’re on your mind. Their pain is being felt. Their grief shared.

Thinking about someone is a reminder that they’re not alone.

Thinking about someone is a reminder that they’re not alone.

Our thoughts naturally go to the things we care about. Ever find your mind wandering during a meeting or on a long drive? Thinking about our families, what’s next on our to-do lists or that next vacation? Me too.

When we make the effort to direct our thoughts toward others we’re showing them we care about what’s going on in their life.

Thoughts show you care.

One step further, if at all possible, Lord-willing our thoughts should lead us to action.

  • Prayers encourage and comfort.

 In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians he tells them, and us to “encourage one another.” More literally, this can be translated as “comfort” or “strengthen” one another.

This same word—encourage—can also be translated as “pray.”

Encourage and pray for your friend.

Comfort and pray for your coworker.

Strengthen and pray for fellow humans experiencing the unimaginable.

More and more, I’m beginning to realize that there is no greater gift that I can receive from friends, family, and even complete strangers than their prayers for me.

As followers of Christ, prayer is our direct connection to God. Our way to talk to him about anything and everything.

Especially when others in our lives are hurting, prayer is one of the best ways we can talk to God on their behalf.

Especially when others in our lives are hurting, prayer is one of the best ways we can talk to God on their behalf.

Pray that they would be unexplainably comforted in tragedy.

Pray they wouldn’t feel alone in their grief.

Pray they will feel supernaturally strengthened.

In the face of unexplainable circumstances is there anything more powerful we can do for each other than pray?

Prayers encourage and comfort.

Once again, prayer should move us to action. If there’s anything that we can tangibly do. We should do it!

Prayer should move us to action. If there’s anything that we can tangibly do. We should do it!

Hundreds of people whose lives were normal yesterday have been shaken by the events in Las Vegas. Normal seems a world away. Right now your thoughts and prayers do matter. More than ever.

People of Las Vegas, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

(Note: If you haven’t done so, more than posting or tweeting about it, please take a few minutes to actually pray for the people of Las Vegas.)

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13 Comments on "Do Your Thoughts and Prayers Matter?"

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Jason kasischke
Jason kasischke
14 days 13 minutes ago

Amen, Praying.

Sandi Ransom
Sandi Ransom
13 days 23 hours ago

Adam. I am always so impressed with your knowledge of, action for, commitment of and most importantly your love for others. Thank you for taking the time to lead us and guide in such a purposeful way. I thank God for you and we pray for you and the entire Embrace staff during our devotional time. Thank you for guiding us into action during this tender time.

Michaele Bonenberger
Michaele Bonenberger
13 days 23 hours ago

Praying is an action one can take. Prayers can also lead us to know what other things we can possibly do to show our concern and love.

Vivian Walker
Vivian Walker
13 days 23 hours ago

Thank you for these words! I have found myself asking that exact question, do my prayers matter in a world so full of hate and violence. You are so right. They do matter!
People of Las Vegas my thoughts and prayers are with you now and in the long journey ahead.

Cyndy White
13 days 20 hours ago

I know without a doubt that all our prayers matter and are heard and cause miracles.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 days 19 hours ago
Love this Adam. It is evident that God is bringing this nation to our knees. Not just one controversial knee…. both knees. I’ve never felt so called to pray ….for victims of the hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and world terrorism and massacres. God has layed on my heart to want to gather this nation in prayer… for wisdom…for God to help us lead the flock to Him for understanding, compassion and forgiveness. I read once where it only takes a pebble to start an avalanche… ha! Let it begin with us…. we can be that pebble. I would love to see… Read more »
Nancy Tipton
Nancy Tipton
13 days 17 hours ago

I am praying for all those that lost loved ones. I’m praying for those who are in the hospital. I’m praying for all those who were at the concert and made it out alive, but with terrible memories and grief. I’m also praying for all of us that watch all that is going on with sadness.
I’m praying because I know our Lord grieves with us. I pray that people will come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is hope, grace and our strength comes from him.

Amy Ripley
Amy Ripley
13 days 4 hours ago

Yesterday was the first day I asked my husband to pray with me. Out loud. Sending those words and thoughts up made a difference to us and to those we touched yesterday. It makes a difference every day. Praying reminds me of the servant I strive to be and helps me act with love and understanding.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 days 2 hours ago

Praying for those is Las Vegas and for you Adam. Thank you.

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