5 Prayers for When the News Cycle Is Overwhelming
- Bethany Pyle Editor, BibleStudyTools.com
- 2021 19 Aug
How you start your morning can set the mood for your entire day. An unfortunate number of times, my day starts with me browsing Twitter. I like to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but all too often, I’m hit with a wave of anger, yelling and vitriol, all while still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.
Other days, we may open our phones or our newspapers and see heartbreaking tragedies. The current events in Afghanistan and Haiti can make us feel incredible sorrow, fear and helplessness. Even local events, like the constant changes regarding COVID-19 precautions and rising case numbers, can plant worry and fear in our hearts.
It’s good to be informed and to know what’s going on in the world. Like Esther, we were put here on earth “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Burying our heads in the sand and never watching the news would be no good either, but what do we do when it starts to get to us?
The other morning as I browsed social media and clicked through some posts about current events, I walked away so angry. Even after I closed the app and started my day, I was still seething. I noticed that other, completely unrelated issues kept popping up in my mind and fueling this anger. I had to pause my morning and ask that God would give me a reset. “Give me peace God, and help me to choose joy today,” I asked.
And He did! It takes a level of discipline and awareness to shut down those negative thoughts, but when we ask God for peace, He is always willing to give it.
We can always ask Him for a reset. We can surrender our fears to Him. We can ask that he would cool the fiery anger in our hearts and help us to love those around us. We can pray for peace in the midst of disaster. We can pray that in the midst of the chaos, He would give us joy and help us to share that peace with others who are hurting.
When the news and current events start to feel overwhelming, here are five prayers to help you reset.
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1. A Prayer for When the News Makes You Angry
I’m so angry right now about ______. God, I pray that you would bring swift justice to those committing these evils. I pray that you would bring awareness of the way that their actions are hurting others, and convict their hearts. But Lord, I also pray that you would cool this anger in my own heart. I don’t want to walk around angry all day. Help me to surrender that anger to you Lord, and to know that you are a God of justice. You are in control of all things, and you will bring swift retribution to those who spread hatred, fear, and lies.
Help me to choose joy today God. Quiet my heart and help me to trust in you and your plan for the world. There’s so much anger in the world God; help me to be a lighthouse in the darkness. The world doesn’t need me to be angry, it needs me to patiently display your love. Help me to point others to you, and to be someone who sows peace in such a dark world. Thank you for listening to me in my anger God. Thank you for giving me peace and quieting my heart. Thank you that you are a God who cares deeply about this world and its troubles. I ask all this in your name,
2. A Prayer for When the News Makes You Despair
I don’t really know what to say right now. When I read stories about ______, my heart breaks. God, please bring restoration to this situation. Bring peace and comfort to those who are suffering. I pray that in this immense darkness, you would shine brightly for those who need it.
God, I also pray that you would shine that light and peace into my own heart right now. I just feel so hopeless and helpless when I see these stories. Help me to remember that you are a God who works miracles. You are a God who cares so deeply about the people of this earth that you sent your Son to walk among us. You know how many grains of sand are on every beach, and you care for the smallest creatures in creation. How much more do you care when humanity suffers? I know these atrocities break your heart too, God. Help me to know and understand that you still have a plan for all things, even if I don’t understand it.
Please give me peace today God. Help me to know when I need to step away from the news and take a mental break. Help me to know what little steps I can make to help with this situation. But most importantly, help me to surrender these fears to you and to leave them at your feet. I ask all of this in your name,
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3. A Prayer to Choose Joy
When I turn on the news or start scrolling social media, I can feel joy draining out of me today. There are so many things going on in the world right now God, and it makes me feel _______. God, I pray that you would help me to make a conscious decision to choose joy today. I don’t want to plaster on a fake happiness; I want to experience the abiding joy that only comes from understanding you are in control, and you care for me.
God, I pray that when complex emotions arise, you would help me to wisely assess them. Help me not to dismiss my anger, fear or frustration, but to understand and discuss these emotions with you. Help me to show empathy to others who are angry and afraid as well, not dismissing their big emotions. But help me to be compassionate, patient, and kind--with myself and others--when it comes to these feelings. And once I’ve worked through this, help me to surrender these fears to you and walk forward in joy.
God, open my eyes to all the beautiful things that you are doing in my life around me. Make me aware of the smallest details and remind me of the incredible things you’ve done for me. This world will always have its troubles, but help me to take heart in you, because you have overcome them all. I ask this in your name,
4. A Prayer for the Men and Women Reporting the News
I want to lift up the reporters, photographers and editors who are reporting the news. It’s so easy for me to forget that we only know what’s going on in the world because men and women are working hard to report on it. Keep those in dangerous situations safe, Lord, as they work to bring us information about what’s going on. Give them strength, as they stand in the midst of such chaos at times. For the men and women who know you, I pray that you would strengthen their hearts in the midst of trouble, so that they can be reassured that you hold them in the palm of your hand.
For those who don’t know you God, I pray that the events they cover would help them to think bigger, and to turn their hearts towards thoughts of you. God, please capture these folks’ hearts, so that they can know peace, and have life in you.
God, as I watch the news some days, my heart sinks at the pain and suffering on display. For me, I can just turn it off and step away. But those working in news have no option to turn away. I pray that you would strengthen their hearts God. Give them rest and peace when they need it, and help them to see the spots of light in difficult circumstances – the people helping, the unexpected miracles, the signs of life persevering.
I thank you for the gift of a free press and the ability to know what’s going on all over the world. I pray for all the reporters, editors and photographers, that you would give them strength and honesty in what they do. Help them to seek out the truth, and shine a light on corruption. I ask all of this in your name,
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Milada Vigerova
5. A Prayer to Know When to Step Back
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of technology. I know it is incredible to be able to stay connected with others like never before, but I confess that this good thing often becomes an idol in my life. Recently, I’ve found myself unable to turn off my phone or click away from stories and threads that are upsetting me. God, you know my heart, and you know how turbulent it’s been recently. Even when I’m not on my phone, I’m thinking about something I saw, and it’s stirring up such negativity in my heart.
God, I pray that you would give me the strength and perseverance to step away from the news and social media. When I feel that temptation to pick it up, convict my heart and help me to turn to something healthier. When I slip up God, I pray that you would help me not to continue on the same path. Help me to know that I can always start over again.
In this time of abstinence from my phone and the news, I pray that you would draw me closer to you. With all the time saved from endless scrolling, encourage my heart to spend that time with you in prayer, reading or meditation. Open my eyes to the beauty and wonder around me. Show me what incredible things you are doing in my heart, my home, and my community. Guide me to new service opportunities, or show me someone who, like me, just needs a break from it all. Help me to encourage them.
And when this time of sabbath is over, I pray that you would help me to have a healthier relationship with my phone and the news. When I start to feel that addictive pull, help me to know that it's time to step back once again. I ask all of this in your name,
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