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Chris Pratt and James Gunn ‘defend’ the right to pray

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In a heated Twitter battle, both affirm the value of prayer.

Prayer is not often encouraged by Hollywood stars, but in response to a filmmaker’s recent heart attack, prayer was shown to be a positive force for good.

It all started with a tweet by “Clerks” director Kevin Smith (more widely known as “Silent Bob”), when he shared an image of himself in a hospital bed recovering from a massive heart attack.

In response to that tweet actor Chris Pratt posted the following prayer request.

Kevin we don’t know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I’m praying … for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!?

Initially comments on Twitter were positive, but it quickly turned ugly and Pratt received a large dose of angry tweets for Pratt’s offering of prayers. The argument was that “thoughts and prayers” are useless.

Pratt didn’t back down and posted a second tweet, affirming his prayers for Smith.

Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS. I’m tagging my Lb/rb football coach who showed me the movie cause he believed in me and knew I’d be inspired.

The Twitter battle quickly caught the eye of “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn. He wrote, “So I just read Chris Pratt’s tweet to Kevin Smith saying he would pray for him & made the mistake of reading the comments, many of which go off on Chris for saying he’d pray. I think people misunderstand the backlash against ‘thoughts & prayers.'”

After explaining how “thoughts and prayers” should also be followed up with action, Gunn opened up about his experience with prayer.

I’m not tweeting this to defend Chris – he’s a big boy and can take care of himself. But for me, personally, prayer and meditation are great boons to my life and help me navigate my way through this world, and I don’t want to dissuade others who find those things useful … If I am ever sick, I will gratefully accept any of your thoughts and prayers.

Even Kevin Smith later defended Chris Pratt saying, “Please don’t fight over stuff like that, it’s a waste of time. Whether you’re religious or not, somebody praying for you is with good intentions.”

While these three men all have different religious beliefs, they clearly affirmed the value of prayer. It is not something to be discarded, but something to be honored.

The Catholic Church also believes in the great power of intercessory prayer, as the Catechism expertly lays out.

Since Abraham, intercession – asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian intercession participates in Christ’s, as an expression of the communion of saints. In intercession, he who prays looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.

It is an essential part of the Christian life and is something that we believe has an effect on the world around us. God does listen to our prayers and can heal or protect someone. As Jesus said to his disciples, “Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11)

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