https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/10/ ... s-shooting
Prayer is a form of submission to God’s will
Pastor Dave Gass, Grace Family Fellowship, Pleasant Hill, Missouri
“Thoughts and prayers” often get put together, when in actuality they are two very contra-distinct terms.
Prayer is the idea of seeking help from outside of ourselves, while thoughts are internalized processing mechanisms. Christians believe that prayer is a form of action because we believe that God is real, God is powerful, and God hears and answers prayer. We like to think of prayer as a way to get God to do what we want, but God is not a cosmic vending machine. We do not use prayer as a form of celestial manipulation. Instead, prayer is a means through which we communicate our hearts to God, and we surrender to his perfect will. In other words, prayer is a means through which we remind ourselves, and God, that God is God and we are not.
Prayer is not only a means of asking God to act, it is also a means of asking God to give us opportunities to act. Prayer is the first step, but it is not the final step. We pray as we move into action. I confess on behalf of many (perhaps most) Christians that prayer is often an excuse for inaction. Through prayer we are reminded that God has communicated to us throughout millennia. Prayer allows us to communicate our thoughts and feelings to God, knowing that he cares for us and is involved in our daily lives.
Jesus told us to pray in his famous sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:25-34, instructing Christians that we need not be anxious or fearful, because we can know that God cares about our concerns both big and small. This gives us space to grieve, to process, and to move toward actions of healing and growth from the pain we are experiencing both within ourselves and in the lives of others. In prayer we know that God is real, God is good, God is working, and God is calling us forward. Far from being inaction, prayer is a call to action.