The killing of 26 people, and wounding of dozens more at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, yesterday has sparked a cacophony of emotions: heartbreak, fear, anger. But even in the midst of these, we also find love – love and concern for one another. I’ve seen many people, using social and traditional media, denigrate #thoughtsandprayers expressed by folks from all walks of life. They claim that thoughts and prayers are a worthless response to such an act of violence. I don’t believe that. We, of the Christian faith, believe that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. They are an expression of our love and unity with those suffering, and can even express our lament to God. The reality is that outside the geographical area of Sutherland Springs, prayer is all we can offer right now. The local people will have to care for the survivors more directly with food, hugs, acts of service, and an ear to listen. It will take time to learn of the circumstances of the attack, and determine what, if any, future actions might prevent similar tragedies. Meanwhile, disregard the naysayers, confess your own sins, and pray fervently for our brothers and sisters at the First Baptist Church.