Monday, February 07, 2011

How to Watch the Evening News

        Several friends recently confided to me that they don’t watch the evening news on TV anymore. I agreed that the news reports are mostly no fun, and watching for an hour and a half at supper time interferes with family conversation.
        We don’t need to listen or watch the news all day long, but we do need to know what’s happening. To prudently prepare we need to be properly informed. Honestly, we cannot ignore or deny the problems of our town, our nation, and the world. So, what can we do?

Here’s a suggestion.
        We can pray. No, God does not need our ideas. We don’t tell Him what He doesn’t know. But praying right then acknowledges the seriousness of the situations, while it lifts our burden of worry, fear, or anger.

Here are some ideas.
        Before you turn on the TV turn to God in prayer. Here you show your love and respect for our Maker. You could say something like this, “Dear Lord, You are God Almighty, holy and righteous. Please show me what I need to know and do about today’s news report.”
        When a disaster is described pray, “Lord, show the Christians there how to reach out to help the others. May unbelievers turn to You for their safety, and find you as their Savior.”
        When a crime is reported, “Lord, let those with evil in their hearts come under conviction of sin. May they repent and find relief in a new relationship with You. May the victim get the help they need.”
        When some official is announcing something, “Lord, may the truth come out, and may the people involved turn to Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
        When a warning of bad weather is given, “Lord, protect those who are involved. Give wisdom to believers so they get prepared. May the unbelievers realize how much they need You, and call out to You for help.”
        When some celebrity is in the spotlight, “Lord, may this person see past their pride and find you as the only One who gives eternal happiness.”
        When it’s good news, then “Thanks, Lord.”
        Let each press release prompt a short prayer of just two or three sentences from your heart and lips.
        You do not advise God, you acknowledge Him, trusting Him in all things, the good and the bad, the seen and the unseen.

Here’s what can happen.
        As we pray we find a peace in our hearts. We can watch the news, knowing that God is taking care of us, and knowing that we are in agreement with Him for the blessing of others.
        The daily news programs also remind us that things will get worse, the closer we get to the events described in the book of Revelation.
        God allows people to view some of the consequences of sin as a warning of coming judgment. Some people may repent and turn to Him.
        For all of us individually, one day our life here on earth will be finished. Each person who comes to Him now has a wonderful future to anticipate. In the meanwhile, let the words of Scripture encourage you, “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2 NLT)

Here’s what you can do.
        Why not try this experiment for the rest of the week. Pray for the people you see and hear about in the news, and you will grow stronger in faith. See what the Lord shows you as you watch the evening news.
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by Elaine Hardt ©2011