Is the news nauseating you?
It is nauseating me. I can hardly watch the news or read the paper anymore because it causes me to either despair or get angry.
I am employing a new tactic to turn my frustration into facilitation. Let me explain. For years I have done something that I lightly call “prayer stalking people”. When I am approaching a crowded or busy area, like a mall or an airport, I might ask God who He would have me pray for. Then, I simply pray what comes to mind. I rely heavily on Romans 8:26 that says the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Every time that I do this I am amazed at what comes to me. I have no way of knowing for sure, but I do feel like the Spirit guides me.
What if we applied the same principle to the news and prayed even as we read it or watched it? We’re all multi-taskers anyway. I don’t think it offends God. He says to pray at all times (Ephesians 6:18). This means that we are free to pray anywhere. It means we don’t have to be on our knees, with our hands pressed together, to be heard. If I can pray driving, or cooking, why can’t I pray reading or watching the news? Why can’t I lift up the names of the Supreme Court Justices when I read them? Why can’t I lift the issues that break my heart up to the throne of grace?
I believe that I can. So I do. When I read about a drug bust I praise God and thank him for the officers who did all the work. When I read about people struggling under the weight of unemployment I ask God to provide excellent employment for each person searching.
My pastor teaches us to “popcorn pray”. It’s simply a short, sometimes silent, sentence lifted up to God in prayer. It’s something we can do all day long throughout our day wherever we are. God is big. Really big. He can handle as much prayer traffic as we can offer. In fact He loves it. The Bible is chocked full of invitations to “come to me”, return to me” and pray. Jeremiah 33:3 is one of my favorites. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” I love to have extended prayer and devotional time. I love to sit in my living room in my pj’s with my coffee cup at my right hand, dog snuggled up on my left, with my Bible and journal in my lap. Sometimes I wish I could stay there for hours, but I can’t. I have to go to the grocery store and do the laundry. I have to go to work. So, when I make my breakfast and read the paper, I pray as I read. Tiny little prayers. Not fancy eloquent prayers that wax poetic. There is a time and a place for that. But most days I gotta keep moving.
How about you? What do you think about praying a few popcorn prayers over your news feed? Could you pray just a few words? They add up.
They add peace to my day and intercession on behalf of another. They reduce my anxiety about the news I read and they increase my faith. They keep me in a place closer to God than I would have been without them.
So, I recommend trying it. Say a quick prayer over the news. It could take your news feed from nauseating to nice in no time.