Opinion: Are prayers enough?

Jazmyne Boozer, Assistant Editor

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com

The views and opinions expressed on in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Vision NGU or North Greenville University.

Where can one begin when discussing something as heavy as a mass shooting? By now, the public knows the facts: A mentally ill former student named Nickolas Cruz went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and took the lives of 17 high school students. The shooter pulled the fire alarm, drawing out students into the hallways. Since the shooting that happened on Valentine's Day, students and victims have rallied for stricter background checks and increased gun control. 

With every national tragedy, stars, political figures and athletes all say the same politically correct statements. The pinnacle of these are: "our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of..."  While this may seem like a sentimental statement in the wake of a catastrophe, most of these affluent people do nothing to aid the victims. Rather than help, they say this generic line and use the rest of their time to promote a platform. For Democrats it's gun control, for Republicans it’s the second amendment. Meanwhile, the victims are still grieving.  

Figures like President Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are famous for their "thoughts and prayers" tweets following the aftermath of mass shootings. And although prayers may be a good thing to send to the survivors and victims of the shooting; more must be done. 

Through the years the phrase "thoughts and prayers" has seemed to be a way to deviate from a solution. It is easy to pray for victims, say the politically correct phrase and hope that it does not happen again; but with 18 school shootings already this year...it's time to talk.  

Even from a biblical perspective, thoughts and prayers can be dead without actions. As a Christian, I do believe that prayer changes things; however, I do feel that there comes a time where action must take place. It is easy for someone to pray for a victim; it's another thing to take action to help that same victim.  

I believe the story of the good Samaritan can serve as a reference for Christians in these times. In this story; both the priest and Levite walked by a beaten and robbed man (victim). But God referenced the Samaritan as being the just one. Although both of these men were religious either by trade or by blood; it was the one who put their faith into action that God called righteous.  

Not only this, but Matthew 25:35-36 "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." These examples each give a call to action. It would be easy to pray for the starving or pray for the homeless...it is another thing to feed the starving and give shelter to the homeless.  

The reason why people are saying that our "thoughts and prayers" are not enough is because it's true. We can expect the apathy and laziness of the world, but from Christians it cannot be accepted. Prayers alone are not enough for situations like this. The world is crying out for action, and it falls on Christians to aid the victims and their families.