Today I have the privilege of interviewing my friend, Craig von Buseck. Craig is the Ministries Director for CBN.com, one of the largest Christian websites in the world. He is a prolific writer and popular speaker. His latest book, Praying the News has recently been released by Regal.
Today, more than ever, we are inundated with news across a variety of platforms. How does this affect our psyche?
People choose where and how much news they will consume, so the fact that there are so many choices today can be looked at as both a good and a bad thing. It is good in that consumers of news are able to look at a story from several different viewpoints and political perspectives, and in so doing, hopefully, have a better grasp on the issue and a more well-rounded idea of what the story is really about. With the advent of the Internet and so many media choices, we can now become an expert on any particular news story if we so desire.
On the negative side, people can be overwhelmed by the information that is coming at them in this modern age. It can be like drinking from the fire hydrant. So we need to be sure that we consume news in a balanced and thoughtful manner to keep ourselves from being deluged on the one hand, or from making media an idol on the other.
Christians are pretty good at complaining about news stories, but are we good at praying for the people involved?
God has called Christians to be “fellow-workers” with Him, as C.S. Lewis put it, in His work in the earth today. In 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, the Apostle Paul calls us “Ambassadors for Christ” in verse 10. As believers are watching or reading the news, we should be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, directing us to pray for a particular story or a certain person. Christians need to recognize the authority that God has given them in prayer and begin to move in obedience to the Lord when and how He directs them to intercede.
Some might say, “What’s the point of praying for the news if God is sovereign?”
Throughout the Bible we see where God called on His people to pray. It is important to understand that while God is sovereign, He commands us to engage in the things that are happening in this world through prayer and action. What we are doing is cooperating with Him to see His sovereign will accomplished — and He does this through prayer. It is a mystery, but there are times when God will and will not move depending on whether His people pray. Many of the promises of God to His people are conditioned on our obedience to do as He says.
Christians often find it hard to pray for leaders whose ideology they don’t share. Why is this?
I think it is human nature to resist those who resist us. But as Christians we are called to follow the teachings and example of Christ who said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44) The Bible also clearly teaches us to pray for those who are in authority, no matter what their political ideology may be (1 Tim. 2:2).
We can see dramatic change in the political environment if we will humble ourselves and pray that God’s will be done regarding those in authority — whether we believe like they do or not.
For those who read your book and think, “Praying the News seems so overwhelming. There is so much bad going on,” what simple steps would you tell them to take to being a ministry intercessory prayer?
We list several tips in the book to help someone can do to “pray the news”. Here are a few:
- · Be an active member of a Bible believing church;
- · Establish a healthy relationship with your pastor;
- · Find a spiritual mentor – someone who is mature in the Lord and can pray with you and answer questions when needed;
- · Be a life-long student of the Bible – never stop learning God’s Word;
- · Join a team of intercessors – don’t be a lone ranger in prayer, but ask the Lord to help you find others who can be prayer partners;
- · Keep a prayer journal – carry it with you to record the things that God leads you to pray for, and the answers to those prayers