How can we use the news to be a light to the world around us?

In the past, we had limited access to information about events that were happening outside of our own community. But with the invention of the internet, social media and mass communication, we’re now able to know what’s happening – anywhere in the world – from our computer, tablet or phone.

Being so connected to events around the world can begin to feel emotionally exhausting. Fear, grief and even anger can quickly fill our hearts as we see stories of violence, hatred, sickness and disaster flash across our screens.

As believers, what are we to do when the weight of the world seems to overwhelm us? How can we use the news to be a light to the world around us?

Praying through the news is one easy habit that we can all benefit from. It allows us to surrender our worries to God while also intentionally lifting up communities that need to experience his healing and love in tangible ways.

Here are some tips on how to pray through the news:

Pray for the victims

Whether you’re reading about a hurricane that has ravaged a town, a city that has suffered a mass shooting or a virus sweeping through the world, stop and pray for those immediately affected.

Pray for the community

When a significant event happens, the whole local community is impacted as a result. Pray that local churches, schools, businesses and more would rally together and support each other, and ask God to make people sensitive to his hand at work in the midst of it all.

Pray for local believers to be Jesus’ hands and feet

We’re all called to be Jesus’ hands and feet to the world. One way we can do that is by reaching out to our own communities in moments of crisis. Pray that local believers would be equipped and willing to shine God’s light, helping to bring healing and restoration to their community in the days and weeks following an event.

Pray for God to be glorified

The news is full of stories of hurting, broken people and communities. But we serve a loving God who can redeem any situation and ultimately glorify himself. Pray that God would do just that, and that people would be sensitive to his hand at work – whether they have an intimate relationship with him or learn about him for the very first time.

Pray for God to make us brave

With access to so much news, we might be tempted to shut out the world’s brokenness and hurt to protect ourselves. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says, ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline’ (NLT). Pray that God would make us brave and would equip us to shine his light to the world around us in the midst of pain and suffering.

Nothing is outside of God’s control

Jesus himself said, ‘I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33, NLT). Nothing is outside of God’s control – even the most heart-wrenching, unimaginable events that we encounter in the news. As believers in Christ, we have the assurance that God has already overcome the world. And as we pray for his will to be done and his glory to be made known, we can live with the knowledge that he is victorious and will ultimately bring complete healing to this world.