It seems as though we are bombarded with bad news coming at us relentlessly. We don't have time to process one breaking news report before we hear of another. We can have various reactions to this. My husband is a "news junky" and wants to know what is happening and the implications of what is happening from every angle. I'm more of the "I want to be informed, but can't take too much of it" camp. Some are from the "I don't want to know, just let me focus on something else, preferably something lovely" camp. (Hence, a flower to go with today's scripture instead of a current news event photo!) Whatever camp you are from, there are some things that might be helpful to remember as you are watch or hear about current events in our world.
Remember that you are a citizen of the kingdom of God above all else. As we watch the news, it's human nature to think, "how does this affect me and/or how does this affect my country?". We need to see things from a Biblical perspective and through the eyes of a citizen of the kingdom of God. As such, some of the things we can ask ourselves as we watch the news are:
-What is satan up to "behind the scenes" of what I am watching? For example, perhaps the racial upheaval and violence in our nation is the symptom of something deeper. Could it be that the enemy is at work stirring up strife, hatred, disunity, contention and confusion? We can boldly ask God to annihilate the schemes of the enemy and to turn what satan means for evil to good. We can ask God to help us as His people to be examples of what it means to love people of every tribe and tongue and to treat everyone with honor, dignity and respect.
-How is what I am seeing going to affect religious freedom, the spreading of the gospel and the persecuted church? God forbid that we treat as ho hum and think "what does this have to do with me?" when we read news such as Russia has banned evangelism outside of the confines of the church. When we hear of other nations where the gospel is forbidden, we must realize that there are still Christians in those nations who are still witnessing, still meeting with other believers, still seeking God at the risk of their very lives. They need our prayers. They need us to pray the scripture I put in today's photo, that the Word of God will spread swiftly in spite of resistance, and that God and His truth will be glorified. We need to pray for strength, encouragement, provision and protection of persecuted believers. We need to pray for supernatural revelation of Who Jesus is to those who are trying to shut down the spread of the gospel. (If God can change Saul, who tired to annihilate the early church, into Paul, the apostle and first missionary of the early church, then He is able to change those who are persecuting the church in our day. God does not change!)
-How can I pray for the people who are affected by what is in the news? The Holy Spirit is an intercessor extraordinaire. We can ask Him to give us a heart for the people involved in stories we see on the news, we can ask Him to help us to see things from His perspective, and we can ask Him what and how to pray. We can also ask Him if there's anything He wants us to do about the situation and then obey Him when He shows us! Have you read that your city has a huge problem with sex trafficking? Perhaps God wants you to get involved in a ministry that helps women coming out of the sex industry. Are you burdened for persecuted believers around the world? Maybe God is asking you to commit to daily pray for them.
As we read or watch the news, we can use it as a prayer target. For example, the nation of Turkey is in upheaval. We can use that news and target Turkey in prayer, asking for God's will to be done in that country. We can pray for Him to protect the people and His work in that nation and to keep the gospel and His kingdom spreading there. Whether it's the newspaper headlines or breaking new alerts posted on your iPhone, take a few seconds to pray rather than just thinking, "Oh, that's terrible!" and moving on with your day.
It's easy to get overwhelmed with all of the bad news we are seeing. It's easy to become overwhelmed and immobilized. We have to fight that tendency and become the mighty army of intercessors and obedient Christ followers that will make a difference. It begins with you and me.