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Reading the news for prayer needs

When reading the news be it in print or online, you may come across various bad things which happen. Though you believe in Christ, remember that you live in a fallen world which is in rebellion against the principles of God. Do not get worried about wickedness in the world but instead resist it. There are many good ways to do this. One such is prayer. And prayer is not the only response.

If you see so much trouble in the world, instead of blaming God for it, ask yourself what are you doing about it? Indeed, there are many who will make a fuss about the crimes in the world but ask them to do something to stop it and they will not offer help but stupidly question back. All they can do is question. Because they don’t get the fact clear in their minds, that they must not avoid responsibility of making the world a little more peaceful and safe.

Like I said earlier there are many ways to resist wickedness and one such way is prayer. Only a fool will say that a believer in Christ will only pray when things go wrong. To such people, I’d say that if you want to falsely accuse others, why not first check your own behavior towards the poor and needy.  Again for such people, let me ask how many times did you give up your free time to stand guard at schools, parks, malls etc to see that other people’s children are safe from harm without asking for anything in return? Did you do it all your life? How many times did you donate blood to a person suffering from disease?

Now, when you watch or read the news don’t you hear of murders, of fraud, of earthquakes and various natural calamities? And not just that, anything evil that’s going on in the world, like a huge scandal in politics, marriages taking a nasty turn, celebrities acting proud and immoral? Don’t get too dazed by such stuff. Pray against evil and don’t condone it. You can consider the various troubles which people face as prayer needs and so you can pray for on their behalf. And, yes even if you don’t know some fixed set of prayers, you can still pray spontaneously in faith.

If you come to know of a hostage situation on the news, start praying about the rescue of the hostages in question. You might be in a crowded place or work and might not be able to pray openly but you can still pray by praying quietly in your mind (this applies for all situations where you need to pray). Say something like “O Jesus, cause the hostages to be rescued. Let them come out safe and in one piece. May the workers of justice prevail. Amen”.

If you watch a new documentary showing how drug trade flourishes in certain parts of the world and even in your homeland, then pray about it. Pray that people who have drugs are set free from their addictions. Pray that the drug cartels realize that they are walking the path of danger and may have to die if caught. Say something like, “I ask that the powers which spread drugs are stopped in their tracks. May those who are addicted to drugs have their eyes opened so that they leave this addiction. Cause it O Lord God, that drug producers and sellers realize that their way will lead to their own destruction and so they make a decision to leave this crime for good. Also that law enforcement agencies be victorious against all criminals who are not giving up on drug trade and that there no wrong government pressure on them. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen”.

When you hear about family problems like an inheritance dispute or domestic violence, then pray for peace, justice and reconciliation. Once you decide to pray don’t worry about how it will turn out, you first pray and leave everything to God. A quick tip is that don’t get too shocked when people and families you felt were nice, have family problems all of a sudden. You are to simply pray for them. Don’t hinder the course of justice especially in cases of domestic violence and child abuse. Pray for such families regardless of which religious faith they belong.

Sometimes, you might hear of celebrities acting bizarre in their speeches and habits. Start praying that they repent of their silliness before something seriously goes wrong for them. Obviously, don’t enjoy any of their stupidities and vulgarity in the process. Don’t patronize their bad behavior. Pride goes before a fall.

Do not wait till your preacher tells you to pray for so and so thing he read in the news. If know what you are praying about is consistent with the Bible and doesn’t deviate from the Christian faith, then there’s nothing wrong in such prayers.

When you hear of persecution against Christians start praying immediately. Ask God that those who are suffering persecution are rescued or find ways to escape safely. Pray that the angels of God fight the powers of darkness which are strong in the places where there is hate and violence against Christians. Desire in your prayers, that persecuted Christians and families of the Christian martyrs continue to be hopeful in the Lord Jesus.

The above are just a few examples where you can pray. As you observe the news, you’ll realize that there’s a lot to pray about. So read the news with a perspective to pray and see lives change for good.

When in desperation pray

What is your reaction in desperation? Are you so overwhelmed by the problem that you panic? What about your faith in God? Do you pray to God in such cases?

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:4-7)

In desperate times don’t worry if you seem too emotional unto others when praying. Because your prayer is unto God and not to men or women.

You might feel to pray spontaneously in your own words. Sometimes, its possible that you may even pray some of the prayers you were taught in church or read in the Bible such the Lord’s Prayer. Don’t worry about. Your focus must be that you pray in faith unto God with an expectant hope in Him to rescue you from trouble. Leave all doubts alone.

God will help you through any means. Maybe an idea or an escape plan. Might be a worker of justice may come to your aid. Or sometimes, you too will gain courage to overcome. So just be open to the will of God in your prayers. Fear not when Christ is with you!

Praying spontaneously

There are written prayers which are used mainly in formal worship services at church and home. These are good in themselves if you do them in faith and without any legalism. Traditionally written prayers were used when there has been increase in heresies that come against the church and a carefully discerned morally right prayer is needed to be followed by all. There are fixed formulas which still persist even in free praying churches especially when it comes to marriages and funerals which are usually not changed due to the need to keep uniformity. Then we have spontaneous prayers.

Debates have persisted for centuries about the benefits of written formal prayers versus spontaneous prayers. I’m however for both of these because at the end of the day as long as we pray them to the same Lord Jesus Christ without any guile or pretense its valid.

Praying spontaneously is an essential prayer technique. Sometimes you may have memorized a lot of prayers, however you realized that none of them cover the new issue that you are praying about. You might re-check all prayers that you know and find that they don’t even mention the specific thing you want to pray about. This is where praying spontaneously helps.

Sometimes you want to express your emotions to the Lord Jesus about a situation. However, you feel that reading a prayer off a book is not letting you express your thoughts.  It could also be that you want to express your emotions of happiness or grief but then your usual book of prayers (if you actually have one) is not with you. Don’t worry, simply speak naturally in prayer.

You may have never prayed like this before but it doesn’t matter. You need to simply have faith in Christ. Just before you start a spontaneous prayer, say something like this, ‘Lord Jesus I come before at this special time of need. I don’t know what words to use but I ask that you lead me into all righteousness and the will of God in whatever I say through the Holy Spirit’. You need to ask Jesus to put the right words in your mouth by the Holy Spirit who is ever near to all those who call on the name of Jesus.

A few things to make a note of and put into practice when praying spontaneously:

  1. Keep God’s will first. You may say, God your will be done.
  2. No need to invent long prayers. If you are in trouble even a simple ‘Help me Jesus right now’ will do.
  3. Keep the prayer consistent with what the Bible teaches.
  4. Say your prayers trusting in the mercy of God.
  5. Exalt God and not people in prayer.
  6. Be honest about asking for what you need. If you need healing say you want healing, don’t just say you want to feel better.
  7. Ask everything in the name of Jesus.
  8. Be thankful every time.
  9. Express your emotions but ask for self-control too.
  10. Do not fear, never ever.
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