Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Prayer for National Day of Prayer

This year, as part of our community ministerial association, I participated in the National Day of Prayer.  I joined several other pastors in this community as well as hundreds around the country to pray for topics such as U.S. military & government, families, churches, education, etc.  My topic of focus was the media.  I thought I would share my prayer here as well.  As the political climate gets hotter and hotter in America, the media has such a critical role.  And I worry more and more every day as to what kind of world Abbey and Baby Bruce #2 (as well as the countless children & youth I care about) will grow up in.

O God of all living beings,
God who touches the world with creativity and color; who equips your people with the gifts of imagination, talent, and inventiveness –

Continue to listen to our prayers today.  As we pray for our great country, we remember all the avenues of media:  from entertainment to news; from the screens of our televisions to the convenience of our smart phones. 

We ask you to open our minds to be thoughtful consumers of information.  We ask for the ability to stretch our eyes and our ears to look for the good things that are happening in our country; to not be so overwhelmed by the negative that we become bitter and complacent.  Rather grant us the awareness to respond to the plight of the poor and the suffering, which make the headlines, and grace us with the awareness to respond to the plethora of stories that never make the paper.  Remind us that your love does indeed bless the large cities and small towns of this country.  Empower our media outlets – from movies to the major news stations – to focus on the stories that bring healing, unity, compassion, and justice to the people of this country.  

O God – your son prayed that his disciples would be united as one people in your love made known in Christ Jesus.  And so we pray that, though we may disagree with our neighbor, though we may have different opinions depending on which media outlet we prefer, though we differ in culture, race, and background – we pray for the ability to focus first and foremost on our shared humanity and on the love that you place within us.  We pray for the courage of our media to deliver honest and fair information.  And on a day in which we also remember the 6 million deaths of Jewish people to the hands of the Nazis, we fervently pray our media not engage in the types of propaganda that once provided the fertile, deadly ground of the Holocaust. We pray our media will not divide us into people of anger and resentment for our fellow American, but rather inform us, educate us, and enlighten us to see all the people of this country – and this world - as our brothers and sisters; all of us wanting the very best for one another. May the information we seek every day be the stories we live out on the streets of our neighborhoods – stories of justice, of compassion, of peace, and liberty.

We pray in the name of Jesus – a man of peace; a Lord of love, Amen.