Prayer does nothing other than make you feel like you’ve done something. It is nothing but a sanctuary for the passive: those who choose to stagnate in perpetual hope, rather than take hold of the tangible courage in acting to affect change.
Any action, however small, is valuable. In situations where you truly cannot do anything, where you are made impotent by helplessness, feeding hope is all you can do to keep yourself from going insane, to inhabit some semblance of control. However, through repeated exposure and experience, I have found that those who pray, excuse the pun, religiously are often content in being detached, in having their hands off and out of a situation, though who still want to exert some kind of input and effectiveness, for their own ego, when their so-called actions have, in fact, achieved and changed nothing at all, and they don’t intend for them to. Those who pray are scared, persistently- scared of their inadequacy, their so-called insignificance, but more scared of challenging these in case they fail, instead of doing so to address their fears and feel the wholeness in the spectrum of being human. Or, conversely, they have an astonishingly inflated belief in the capacity of thoughts without physical actions. It is possible to be afraid AND be active in trying to affect change, but choosing not to act because of fear is dangerous cowardice.
Instead of acting through the fear, doing and being in spite of it, many defer their actions, their responsibility for carrying them out to an entity that they believe to be more active and powerful than the moving, sentient bodies in which they live. I’m not suggesting the two are mutually exclusive, that you are either an individual entity without the influence of anything else, or, that you are a vacant vessel through which a higher being manifests (kinda parasitic this idea though, don’t you think?), but I have found that many religious people pick and choose the instances in which actions- theirs and others’- fall to personal responsibility, and which are the actions of ‘the Lord’, of which they are merely intermediaries. I suppose the latter makes it easier to displace blame in reactions/responses, and absence thereof, to circumstances involving domestic violence, abuse of any kind, famine, mental health issues or illness, mental and emotional trauma, sexual assault, even climate change, to name but a few- “It wasn’t/isn’t me, it was/is God/some bad juju played through/for a bad human.”.
This surge of thought has, at its heart, been inspired by numerous things, but the most immediately forceful being a present, ongoing situation concerning domestic abuse and violence- the terms are interchangeable, here, as violence isn’t solely conspicuous or overtly, visibly physical. The person in question needs real, physical help and action, yet all the majority of people- except myself- seem to have to add or want to say is to ‘keep them in their thoughts’. Great, but what about when they have their head kicked in by their family for ‘disobeying/shaming them’? They have already had most of their liberties- physical, mental, emotional- revoked. They believe they are the problem, not the numerable abusers around them. And the ‘help’ you are offering is through prayer??? Maybe it is that you just don’t care, it is just a fictional drama for you to weigh-in on- after all, it is being communicated to you through a screen, via a social media site. Maybe, to you, it is all a fantasy, so you chime-in and contribute with your equally invented thoughts- ‘thoughts and prayers’.