"Thoughts and Prayers" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
I know "thoughts and prayers" are a kind gesture.
Just like when we say to someone who's grieving the loss of a loved one, "Sorry for your loss!"
Or when we are asked on the worst day of our life, "How are you?" and we say "Fine!"
Or when we exchange phone numbers with a new acquaintance we know we'll never talk with again.
These are kind, normal, gestures that are part of the oil of our social machinery.
I use them. I don't besmirch them.
BUT... if someone is saying "thoughts and prayers" to you who could definitely do something about it, then it is no longer a kind social gesture but a deflection from their carelessness and unwillingness to act upon the urgent issue at hand.
For example, if I lost a loved one in Las Vegas, I would appreciate the "thoughts and prayers" that would be said to me, but I would rather whoever said this to me who was in a position of power to change things, that they say to me, "I'm sorry this happened. I know my thoughts and prayers can't bring your loved one back. But I'm going to do something about this so that your loved one's life will not have been in vain. I will do everything in my power to make sure something like this will never happen again!"