While the act of prayer itself may be positive, doing so after national tragedies without making any actual effort to change things is hypocritical and insincere, especially when it comes from politicians, believes Kirsten Powers of the Washington Post. Particularly after recent tragedies, politicians and others have too easily offered thoughts and prayers instead of taking action. Too many people have followed suit, seemingly to avoid changing anything in their lives. Real improvement is needed to stop terrible things from happening, which needs to be enacted from the personal to the policy-making level. Prayer is a force for good, but it’s not always enough.
After national tragedies, offering thoughts and prayers don’t replace real action but can help those that do so get guidance and hope in hard times, infers Jennifer Doverspike of The Federalist. This can be a big motivator for real improvements being made. People that pray develop empathy for those that suffer and create a clear image in their minds, which can help them change things for the better. Additionally, much of the criticism directed at those who pray stems from the difference of belief in God. Beyond whether or not God exists, those in need feel more supported when they know they are prayed for. Thoughts and prayers help victims as well as the concerned.