There are a lot of words involved in the Christian faith. We talk, we sing, we read, we share, we pray. It makes sense. How else can we be understood or understand, apart from words? But we should remind ourselves our faith is not only about words.
This week there has been some media comment on this matter with the phrase, “our thoughts and prayers are with you”. While this has been said recently towards people impacted by bushfire, it is used for many other contexts. We appreciate it is a sentiment expressing personal concern. The criticism has been on the failure to act in line with that concern. These thoughts and prayers are not enough.
While I don’t agree that prayer is without efficacy, I do agree this sentimental phrase is not enough. Especially if you have no intention to actually pray! Especially if God has given you the power to be his answer to your prayer. James 2:14-17 says as much. Such prayer without action is a trivial sentiment. Let us make sure we never use sentimental phrases to make us feel we have done enough with words, so we will not do what we can in action.