Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen gets 3 years in prison

Can 'thoughts and prayers' stop the next shooting?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Dr. Michael L. Brown - Guest Columnist

Michael BrownAmerica can only be great if America is good, and America can only be good with the help of God. We turn to Him, or we suffer the consequences. He remains ready to help and to heal.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, herself a shooting victim, said: "All we're hearing is thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are important. They are not enough. Your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting." Is he right? Yes and no.

Allow me to explain.

First, Mr. Kelly has every right to speak out against gun violence, since his own wife was almost killed by a demented gunman. I do not minimize his convictions.

Second, I agree that praying and taking action go hand in hand, and that if our laws need changing, we should change them.

praying together

Third, when we say "our thoughts and prayers" are with the victims and their families, it is often meaningless, just a trite expression without much behind it. "My thoughts and prayers are with you," we say – and then we go on with our normal business. Of course this will not bring about significant change.

But what will bring about significant change, far beyond what any law can do, is if we really got serious and called for a national day of prayer and fasting, a day in which the government shut down its normal operations and schools and businesses were closed (wherever possible) and multiplied tens of millions of us fasted and prayed and repented and sought the favor of God.

What will bring about significant change is not merely saying "My thoughts and prayers are with you," but rather praying like the fate of the nation hinged on our prayers since, in many ways, it does.

woman praying at Urbana15What we need is a solemn assembly, an urgent call to the nation, a time when the president will get on his knees and spend hours before God in soul searching and prayer. A time when Christian leaders will set an example of humility and repentance. A time when life will not go on as usual for 24 hours in America. That will certainly get the attention of heaven.

Looking back in American history, William Federer wrote in 2010, "To punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party, King George III decided to destroy its economy by blockading Boston's harbor on June 1, 1774."

Thomas Jefferson drafted a Resolution for a "Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer" to be observed the same day. It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses May 24, 1774, by Robert Carter Nicholas and supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason, passing unanimously:

"This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile invasion of the City of Boston, in our sister Colony of Massachusetts … deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights. … Ordered, therefore that the Members of this House do attend … with the Speaker, and the Mace, to the Church in this City, for the purposes aforesaid; and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read prayers, and the Reverend Mr. Gwatkin, to preach a sermon."

George Washington wrote in his diary, June 1, 1774: "Went to church, fasted all day."

young man with BibleCould something like that happen again? If it does, God will respond to our fasting and prayers and tears and repentance, and it could be the spark that helps ignite a great awakening. He may humble us, but He will also lift us up.

To repeat a simple message: America can only be great if America is good, and America can only be good with the help of God. We turn to Him, or we suffer the consequences. He remains ready to help and to heal.

Dr. Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is "Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation."

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network,, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




What's your reaction to Kavanaugh's vote over Planned Parenthood funding?





Magnitude 4.4 earthquake jolts Tennessee; felt in Atlanta
Suspected gunman in Strasbourg attack known to police
UK disarray: May to face no-confidence vote from her party
Activists decry no-jail sentence for former frat president
Trump bickers with Dem leaders, threatens gov’t shutdown


Stormy Daniels ordered to pay President Trump $292G in legal fees
Kamala Harris gets schooled on U.S. Constitution
Pope Francis may approve edit to The Lord's Prayer. But is the change theologically correct?
Homeowners association bans Christmas decorations this season
Hollywood producer: Show 'small-minded' bigots the door


Cartoon of the Day