Thoughts and prayers now offensive? What should Christians do?

A new type of backlash against Christians has emerged recently with many on social media mocking those who offer “thoughts and prayers” after a tragedy. How should Christians act and respond?

People are calling “thoughts and prayers” offensive

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

– Isaiah 5:20

Only a few short years ago, who would’ve thought that offering your thoughts and prayers to someone who is suffering following the tragedy would be deemed offensive. But as culture has turned upside down in many ways, we have seen an increase in vilifying people as many work to change society amid an ever-fluid definition of truth and reality.

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.”

– Proverbs 17:15

Thoughts and prayers deemed offensive after tragedy

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, some online started mocking people who were offering their thoughts and prayers over the tragedy.

Are thoughts and prayers worthwhile or an excuse?

Those who don’t believe in prayer are quick to assert that prayers don’t do anything. At the same time, others say those who offer prayers are simply using them as excuses not to help or get involved.

Following the school shooting tragedy, people made comments such as “prayers clearly aren’t working.” Others criticized those who only offer thoughts and prayers instead of “actually doing something.”

Sometimes thoughts and prayers are the best we can offer

Regardless of criticism, we must keep in mind that some of those critics may not be doing anything either. Therefore, we should not let them dissuade us from doing good in whatever way we can – even if that’s thoughts and prayers.

There are some situations when “thoughts and prayers” are the best someone can offer. Things happen that are simply beyond anyone’s control. Many things in life are beyond the grasp of ordinary citizens to control or make a difference and are instead within the hands of those in higher authority. In other situations, people may be too far away, without adequate resources, unable to be physically involved, or a host of other reasons.

In all those instances, thoughts and prayers are focusing the heart and mind on the situation in a commitment of solidarity.

Physics is now telling us that all things are connected, as the famous slit experiment demonstrated, and they are leaning toward a belief that we are all connected by consciousness. If that is true, then thoughts and prayers become vitally important. It seems science is just beginning to catch up with what the Bible has told us all along.

How should Christians offer thoughts and prayers?

Pastor Mike Winger, who has a large YouTube following, offered a very insightful perspective on how Christians should react to such criticism and how they should direct their prayers.

Pastor Mike notes that some people seem to be triggered by hearing the phrase “thoughts and prayers.”

Indeed, many people today seem all too ready – waiting – to be triggered. As a Christian, we want to be mindful of not upsetting people and creating conflict. However, while we may want to be careful with certain people, we should not let one person or group of people stop us from thoughts and prayers, which can be beneficial in ways detractors may not realize.

Thoughts and prayers create movements and attention

Pastor Mike points out the benefits that “thoughts and prayers” offer that people often overlook. The more people share their thoughts and prayers, the more awareness is drawn to a particular situation. That means more people know about it, are talking about it, drawing attention to the problem, and the more likely it becomes that people with the ability to do things – whether by fundraising or hands-on – will get involved.