As the United States commemorated the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted on social media his pondering on the phrase “thoughts and prayers.”
In a message published both on Facebook and on Instagram, President Nelson invited those viewing the posts to consider how thoughts and prayers can direct individuals to God and prompt acts of kindness, compassion and generosity.
The post reads:
“On this National Day of Prayer, I have been pondering the evolving meaning in our society of the phrase “thoughts and prayers.” For many, this is still a sincere expression of condolence and concern. For others, it is viewed as a perceived lack of action in the face of tragedy.
“I have a firm belief that praying for those in need is pleasing to God; in fact, He commands us to turn to Him and to pray for others! However, it is my own personal experience that when I ask God in prayer for direction on what I can do to help minister, lift, love, and support those in need, He answers these prayers with specific and simple things I can actually do to bless one of His children.
“I invite you to consider how your thoughts and prayers can be a catalyst for God to inspire and direct you toward acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity. Imagine how much good you could do in the world—and in your own family, school, and workplace. As we seek to be His healing and helping hands, we surely will exalt the Lord. #NationalDayofPrayer”