I'm sick of being called on to pray --- "Pray for the victims of Katrina."
Pray? Excuse me? Pray for what? For god to be merciful? It's a bit late for that. Pray to comfort them? Comfort would be a hot meal and a place to stay and maybe a couple of hundred bucks to help them through the next week. How is your praying going to comfort them?
I'll tell you how: it's not. But I know who it will comfort: you. Praying is what you do when you want to feel good about doing nothing.
When a "leader" asks us to pray, I can only think, gee, is that really the best you can do? What about asking us to donate money? Or blood? Or volunteer with the red cross? You're saying that all we can do is close our eyes and make a wish that your imaginary friend --- who presumably caused all of this in the first place --- will come and fix things up again?
A better plan would be to pay our taxes and then work like hell to vote in leadership to prevent future messes like this. You can't pray for that though; you just have to do it.