Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Prayer for the Media

We had a prayer gathering at a park here in our community for the National Day of Prayer. I don't usually write out my prayers, but I did this year. I was asked to pray for our media, so this is what I prayed.
Our merciful Savior, I come before you today as your servant, leading this congregation in prayer. On a day of remembrance, the National Day of Prayer, may we be reminded of our sin. We are told in your word, in 2 Timothy 2:25, that only God grants repentance. I am asking this day for a spirit of conviction that we might know our sin so that we can rightly repent of it. 
God, we are so easily distracted, mesmerized by so many trinkets and a variety of screens set before our eyes. We've placed value in useless forms of entertainment. Instead of staying on the straight, narrow path established by your word, we've swerved to the left and to the right. Though many of us might admit that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, we don’t even read it. Instead, we've become gossips and busy-bodies through mediums like Facebook. We've been driven to worry and stress listening to the news, trying to keep up with the Jones’s and fake actors, instead of knowing with confidence the promises that you have given to us in your Word. 
Many of us probably couldn't even recite ten of those promises. We’ll defend so-called "Christian" films that completely bastardize your scriptures, yet we won’t open the Bible to know what it says. We’ll be thankful before men that "Christian" media – ridiculous money-grabs like The Bible mini-series, Son of God, Noah, and Heaven Is for Real – are increasing the discussion of God in the public square, yet we've completely missed that through your apostles, you have said that rotten doctrine spreads like gangrene, doing nothing to promote godliness but leads us further and further into godlessness. 
Father God, we have forsaken attending church, which you have commanded we must do. We justify in our own self-righteousness why we don’t need to go, and instead sit at home by ourselves with stupid, mindless drivel, spending our time with the sexually immoral, the violent, the blasphemers displayed on television, who described in 2 Peter 2 follow their own sensuality and blaspheme the truth to their own destruction. We’d rather waste our time with them, watching them normalize sin and make a whore of your bride, the church, instead of investing that time in the fellowship of the saints, obeying what is said in Ephesians 4 as the growth and maturation of the body of Christ.

We have raised up new towers of Babel, glorifying in our achievements and our inventions, we bow down before idols of our own making, instead of marveling at the accomplishments of God – the death of your Son, Jesus Christ, upon the cross, his resurrection from the grave, so that all who believe in and follow him might have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life. Heaven is for real. So is hell. Let us not forget that [is what we deserve, but we are saved by grace through faith in Christ]. 
So God, again, I ask for conviction. I pray that you make us so miserable when we’re plugged into our many forms of entertainment that we can’t help but escape our bondage to them into the freedom that is given in Christ alone. It says in your word through the prophet Amos that if we are unrepentant in our sin, even our music is a dreadful noise to you and you hate our praises. Through your servant David we read that if there was still iniquity on our hearts, you’d not have heard our prayers. 
Lord, we pray that you would grant us repentance. Let us run to and be filled with your Word. Let us not be easily swayed with the cadence, the loud voices, and the speaking ability of messengers who claim to know God. But let us devote ourselves to the proper understanding of your scriptures, and seek out tried-and-true, teaching men of God who know how to properly communicate what your Holy Spirit truly means to speak to us, unimpeded by our inventions, media, or entertainment. 
Give us the mind of God, not the mind of man, as it says in Colossians 3:1 to seek the things that are above. Tear down our earthly kingdoms and pull our eyes toward the Kingdom of God. It is in the name of Jesus Christ our blessed Savior that we pray, Amen.