NOTE: This is a prayer I offered when I was asked to pray for the media at Mount Vernon’s National Day of Prayer celebration on May 3rd:
“Our heavenly father, we come to you tonight thankful for the opportunity to unite in prayer. Thank you for the many blessings you have provided which we so many times take for granted.
My prayer tonight is for the giant that is the mass media…but not only for those who are involved in informing, persuading and entertaining us, but also for us as consumers of that product. Lord, you know the reach and the power of the mass media, whether it be in electronic or print form. The influence it has in our daily lives. It sometimes seems overwhelming. The digital age has taken this to a new level. But we also know that nothing is beyond your domain. Praise the Lord for that!
Lord, we recognize that you know the motivation of every soul who is involved in providing content.
Father, I ask that journalistic cornerstones like truth telling, justice, respect, accuracy, accountability and love become prominent once again. That those ideals begin to balance out the motivation of the dollar bill, of gossip, or of shock value.
For people of faith working in the mainstream media, I pray they can truly be a light in the darkness. Lord, encourage them…strengthen them. Put your people in their path to keep them strong. We want them to know that you’ll walk beside them as they navigate through a culture dominated by selfishness, instant gratification and greed.
For those of us using media to spread your word, I ask that we truly embody the fruit of the spirit in all that we say and do. I am personally thankful for Mount Vernon Nazarene University and WNZR. Thank you for those pioneers who had a dream of a Christian radio station for Knox County. I’m so thankful to be a part of it. Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to proclaim your name and your glory over what’s called the public spectrum. I pray that our message would be grounded in your word, and meaningful in the hearts and minds of believers and non-believers. That we would truly be what we say we are. Authentic. Consistent. That we would be completely committed followers.
Let Ephesians 4:29 motivate us as Paul reminds us: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Now, Lord for us as consumers…help us remember to stay disciplined in being gatekeepers of what we consume…and what we allow into our hearts and into our households. I pray that “lead us not into temptation” would be our heartfelt cry. Lord, please help us develop the ability to filter and guard from the temptations of the media, whether it be radio, television, film, video games, social media and the internet, or print media.
Help us as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, caregivers and mentors to set the example and train our children, grandchildren and students well in being media literate. Lord we have an awesome responsibility to train up this next generation that is bombarded with media options. To help them develop filters. To bring clarity to the messages that can confuse our worldview. Help us to be up to the challenge…to be strong, to stay grounded in you.
Finally Lord, I want to confess…sometimes we’re bad at this. We get frustrated, so we withdraw and give up…or we stand on the sidelines and throw rocks at the problem instead of looking for solutions. Convict us when we do this.
Help us to be your people- to encourage men and women in the media, or students in mass media studies to rise up and change it from within. Let us encourage them to be lights in whatever field they choose.
It’s in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen.”