The end of prayer as an acceptable answer during crises may be ending because of the NRA and the right. They have pronounced after each mass shooting that the victims are in their prayers and thoughts. They also proclaim the only thing that can be done in the aftermath of mass shootings are prayers and thoughts. Discussions on how to bring the shootings to an end are premature and must happen in some future time. So prayers have become a cudgel to be used on people who want to see change.
Even worse prayers have become equal to doing nothing. We plan to do nothing or we plan not to change so we offer you prayers and thoughts. Two hundred plus shootings later since Sandy Hook to be offered prayers is almost to proclaim that I really do not care. People effected by the shootings are saying we do not want your prayers we want your actions. And there you have it prayer is no longer an activity but considered an inactive response. Prayer was once thought to be the enabler of action is now thought to be the avoidance of action. Prayer was once thought essential to do acts with depth of thought or now thought to be the avoidance of thinking about the problem. Prayer was once thought to be the leaving of your egos behind to allow God room to act within you is now the avoidance of Godly acts.
So the so called believers in prayer or killing prayer. Of course this is the way it always is the practitioners are the ones who think they own the practice. The right would be the first to tell liberals they do not believe and therefore their prayers are ineffectual. But because the right has locked themselves in prayer boxes their prayer has become an act only to make themselves feel better. It does not connect them to a higher power or to their deeper selves but instead works to make them feel justified in any selfish or bigoted action they partake.
Some on the right have proclaimed that taking prayer out of schools is the reason for the shootings. To them prayer is a demand of a God who is waiting for you not to offer your prayers to strike you down in the most horrendous way. Prayer to them is appeasement of God. And to make it even more striking is if God is not appeased he takes it out on the children who have no say in the matter. In other words god is a very bad shot when it comes to punishment. God misses striking the ones responsible and hits the one who are the most vulnerable.
Prayer use to be thought as a personal contact with God. But the indiscriminate hard ass described in the previous paragraph is not someone I would want to know. So you see prayers are being killed by the right. I always thought prayer to be useful to guide me in the ways of righteous actions. But now I can pray without worrying about what God may inspire me to do next. What a relief. I can tell the hungry I pray for them and not offer food. I can tell the prisoner I pray for them and do not have to visit them. I can tell the sick I pray for them and do not have to care for them. I can tell children in schools I pray for them and do not have to stop the bloodshed.