Why You Shouldn't Ignore The News In 2016





This past year, I understood for the first time why some people don’t like watching the news.

I have always been a bit of a news junkie.  Part of this may have come from being a dental hygienist.  People are nervous at the dentist, and it helped to have some outside interest to divert their attention from their vulnerability and the dental poking and prodding that was coming.  With current events, we are all in it together.  

I used to hate it when a patient brought up a story I had heard nothing about.  All I could say was “Oh really?”, which is not much of a distraction from the despised plaque-scraping.  

I like to feel informed, I like to be able to contribute an opinion to the conversation, so I still turn on the news each morning and keep my radio dialed to talk stations.  But in 2015, the news was heavy and dark, and for the first time I felt the weight of it. ISIS, persecution, refugees, Planned Parenthood atrocities, Supreme Court decisions.  The world is changing at a rapid pace, and I don’t know if I want to watch where it’s heading anymore.  

I’m no longer working as a hygienist, so I no longer need to keep up on the news for my patients’ sakes.  It’s terribly tempting, as we head into another blank year on the calendar, to bury my head and ignore all the “negativity”.

But I won’t, because I know it would be irresponsible of me to do that.  The world is spinning out of control, the country as a whole is turning it’s back on God more each day, and people are going their own way.  

But it’s not too late for things to change.  

If I didn’t believe that, I would bury my head and hunker down in my house with my family until Jesus comes back.  We are not to the point of no return, but change in the world will only come through something that only those of us who follow Jesus can accomplish - prayer.

I have a little confession - I used to secretly think that there was little practical point in prayer.  Nothing can thwart God’s will.  Sure, there are benefits of prayer on our relationship with God, but I doubted whether prayer really changed anything else.   

Through a recent in-depth study at our church, I’ve come to realize that God chooses to use our prayers as a catalyst to accomplish His work on earth.  His will is that we pray, and He chooses to involve us in bringing about His will through our prayers.  It’s kind of cool actually, that He chooses to include us, because He didn’t have to set it up that way at all.  That is why prayer is powerful. Because God allows His will to be worked out on earth through prayer. 

As I watch the news now, I realize how desperately our world needs prayer.

So what is my prayer for 2016? I pray that God will bring about a great revival, and that it will start within our own families.

We turn on the news, and it is easy to see how mainstream culture has forgotten the things of God.  But I wonder how much of that same attitude has seeped into our families?  Do we turn to God with our struggles and sorrows, or do we try to find our own solutions?  Do we take our concerns about our world to Him, or do we turn the channel and try to forget what we saw?  Are we modeling the truth of prayer for our kids, or just going through the motions?

I want to teach the importance of prayer to my children this year.  I want to turn every news story or personal situation into a chance to show them that prayer matters.  I want to make our nightly prayers more rich and meaningful, instead of rushing through them. (A cute resource for nightly bedtime prayers is Max Lucado’s Treasury of Bedtime Prayers, and I think it will be a good place to find inspiration when I have trouble coming up with the words.) 

There will be no revival in this country without a revival of prayer.  God tells us that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much, and it is time for those who follow Jesus to pray fervently for hearts to turn back to God in our nation and world through each situation we see on the news every day.

In 2015, I had to practice taking that heavy, dark feeling and shining the light of prayer on it.  In 2016, I want to pray more fervently that God would use the darkness to emphasize His light all the more.  I pray that in the midst of these scary days in history, God would draw people to Himself.  I pray that He would use me and my family, in whatever part of His story we must play, to bring our country back to Him.

Will you join me in praying for our nations as we start 2016?  I don’t know what this new year will hold, but I do know that the future looks brighter when we turn our faces to Jesus.


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Lord, we need Your help.  We have all turned aside to our own paths, and there is none of us who is without sin.  Thank You for sending Jesus to pay for our sins.  Thank You that when we believe in Him, You cover us with His righteousness.

Lord, forgive us when we forget that in the midst of these scary times, You are our Hope.  Help us to remember to turn to You with our fears.  I pray that You would bring about a revival in America, the greatest one in our history, and that You turn people here and around the world back to You.  

Forgive us for our own failure to turn to You and our passivity in the face of evil and suffering.  Please work in our own hearts to put You first, and to obey Your voice as we try to shine Your light in the darkness. May we all do the work that You have for us in 2016, and give us the strength to be fervent in prayer.

Amen.









(Note: This post is sponsored by Tommy Nelson, but the topic is something I am passionate about, and as always, all opinions are my own.)
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8 comments

  1. I love this! My husband and I have become more involved politically this time around and thus I have been paying more attention to the news and what is going on in our world and it is hard! Anyways, thank you for sharing this - it was very encouraging to me!

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  2. That is a wonderful friend and I completely agree with you! I am a news junkie and realize that I need to be praying for our country and world as well as my own heart and family since it does start at home! Hope you have a great 2016!!

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  3. That's an interesting perspective and it's kind of ironic because just today I was thinking about how much I want to avoid the news, partly because I live in a non-U.S. friendly nation and I know that a lot of my Russian friends at least have opposite reactions to the same news stories. I hate how the media can be one-sided. That is kind of beside the point, as I definitely want to enrich my prayer life and have it rub off on my family at the same time! But sometimes I feel too emotionally fragile to take on so many cares. I don't find it so much trying to shut out negativity, but when I open up that news page I know approximately what I'm going to find there, and I know I can't go back once I've seen it. Bottom line, I think all of these decisions must be Spirit-led, and I definitely believe the Holy Spirit led you to share this! I just think it's sometimes an individual thing.

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  4. I can definitely relate to feeling too fragile to watch the news some days. I think it is definitely something you have to be prepared for and approach with a pro-active attitude. If you will end up being too discouraged after watching the news, that isn't good either! Praying about the issues of the day is just a way I keep myself from getting too down about the way the world is going.

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  5. Thank you Amanda! I hope your 2016 is wonderful as well. :-)

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  6. Thank you so much for commenting Kristeena! Hearing that you were encouraged is an encouragement to me! ;-)

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  7. Good point. Better than stewing over it. By the way, I love your blog design right now.

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  8. Ah, thanks Elizabeth! I just had a designer help me with it so it will work better on mobile devices. I am liking it a lot!

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