LONGVIEW - Whenever the world faces a tragedy, one of the many responses people would probably see on social media are: "Thoughts and prayers" or "praying for you".
When the news of more than a dozen people killed in a church shooting at Sutherland Springs, Governor Greg Abbott tweeted in part:
"Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act."
People have shared their views about 'thoughts and prayers' and said it's not making a difference. J.D. Palmer, a pastor in Longview, said it depends who is praying. CBS 19's Tristan Hardy had a one-on-one conversation with Palmer about it.
"It brings us the reality that it could happen here just like it could happen there," Palmer said. "I've been praying for the victims and their families."
"We always hear 'my thoughts and prayers' or 'I'm praying for you'," Hardy said. "Does that phrase still has meaning behind it?"
"I believe prayer, still, the most powerful thing we have on Earth."
CBS 19's Tristan Hardy introduced Palmer to quotes he came across on social media and asked for his reaction to them. One user said "it's almost like their thoughts and prayers do literally nothing to stop this kind of stuff."
"Prayer does work," Palmer responded. "It depends on who's praying because the prayer need to first have a relationship with God."
Palmer said 'thoughts and prayers' should be followed up with "reaching out to help." He said when Christian come together; prayer can make a difference.
The pastor expressed to CBS 19, the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church will have service the following Sunday. However, he said he's considering having more security on church grounds.
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