Image by Michael Fousert

Make the most of Media Prayer Day

These ideas are designed to help churches make the most of Media Prayer Day. You can find supporting video files, PowerPoint, printables, etc. on our downloads page.

 

  • Sometimes we forget about how many people make up NZ’s media and the roles they play. Get interactive with your congregation and brainstorm a list of media roles  – and then pray for the people in those roles. There are vision switchers, people controlling autocue, graphic designers, digital content creators, writers, researchers - just to get you started!

 

  • Or you could just focus on one area of media, or one show, say the 6pm TV news.

 

  • Interview a Christian who works in media. Maybe someone who attends your church?

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  • How would Jesus respond to the top three news items of this weekend’s newspapers?

  • If Christians controlled the media, would they allow freedom of speech? What would be other implications?

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  • If you worked for a major NZ advertising firm, and you had a million-dollar budget, how would you communicate the “Christian message” as an advertising campaign? And what media would you use?

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  • Which actors/musicians/YouTube stars do you think are the top three influencers of teenagers today? What are their messages? How do you respond to those messages?

 

  • What channels are your young people on? YouTube, TikTok, Instagram? How can you teach them to be wise and discerning about their media consumption? 

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  • How might the Apostle Paul use the media if he had a platform today? What lessons would he teach us about communicating the Gospel that we could employ today?

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  • We, as media consumers, are largely responsible for the stories we hear and see since we are clicking on what is known as ‘click bait’ headlines, which gravitate more to bad and sensational news than good news. Why are we attracted to these types of stories?

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  • If Jesus were born today, would the media celebrate him, or crucify him? Why?

A liturgy before consuming media

We’d love to introduce you to Every Moment Holy – a series of liturgies and prayers for every occasion. This particular piece is called A liturgy before consuming media (Copyright 2017 by Douglas McKelvey, Every Moment Holy)

O Discerning Spirit who alone judges all things rightly,
now be present in my mind and active in my imagination
as I prepare to engage with the claims and questions of my culture,
incarnated in the stories that people tell.

 

Let me experience mediums of art and expression,
neither as a passive consumer nor as an entertainment glutton,
but rather as one who through such works would more fully and compassionately
enter this ongoing human conversation of mystery and meaning,
wonder and beauty, good and evil, sorrow and joy, fear and love.

 

All truth is your truth, O Lord, and all beauty is your beauty.
Therefore use human expressions of celebration and longing
as catalysts to draw my mind towards ever deeper insight,
my imagination into new and wondering awe,
and my heartbeat into closer rhythm with your own.

 

Shape my vision by your fixed precepts, and
tutor me, Holy Spirit, that I might learn
to discern the difference between those stories that are whole,
echoing the greater narrative of your redemption,
and those that are bent or broken,
failing to trace accurately the patterns of your eternal thoughts
and so failing to name rightly the true condition of humanity and of all creation.

 

Grant me wisdom to divide rightly; to separate form from content,
craft from narrative, and meaning from emotion.
Bless me with the great discernment to be able to celebrate the stamp
of your divine image revealed in an excellence of craft and artistry
even while grieving a paucity of meaning and hope in the same work.

 

Guard my mind against the old enticement to believe a lie simply
because it is beautifully told. Let me not be careless.
Give me right conviction to judge my own motives in that which I approve,
teaching me to be always mindful of that which I consume,
and thoughtful of the ways in which I consume it.
Impart to me keener knowledge of the limits of my own heart
in light of my own particular brokenness,
that I might choose what would be for my flourishing and not for my harm.

 

And give me the grace to understand that what causes me to stumble
might bear no ill consequence for another of your children,
so that while I am to care for my brothers and sisters,
I must also allow them, in matters of conscience, the freedom to sometimes choose
a thing your Spirit convicts me to refrain from.

Even so, let my own freedoms in Christ never be flaunted or exercised in such a way
as to give cause for confusion, temptation, or stumbling in others.

 

May the stories I partake of, and the ways in which I engage with them
make me in the end a more empathetic Christ-bearer, more compassionate,
more aware of my own brokenness and need for grace,
better able to understand the hopes and fears and failings of my fellow humans
so that I might more authentically live and learn and love among them
unto the end that all of our many stories might somehow
be more beautifully woven into your own greater story.

 

Amen.

Republished with permission.