Thoughts and prayers—their value and power

Read the Letters to the Editor column in any newspaper or look at what’s trending on social media, and you can sense the pulse of the issues of the day. Recently, references to “thoughts and prayers” offered for victims of tragedy have elicited a negative reaction in public discourse. Many claim thoughts and prayers are inadequate and of no real value. Concrete action is demanded now, they say.

People are, however, earnestly seeking a healing response to a vast array of social problems: mass shootings, drug addiction, suicide, hopelessness, depression. Wisdom and solutions are sorely needed. The question is: Can thoughts and prayers change the world?

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