The news can be depressing, even frightening—or it can be a guide to prayer.
Stories coming out of Ukraine have burdened many of us. Wendy Griffith, senior reporter for CBN News, recently returned from the Polish/Ukrainian border with a greater understanding of the situation and direction for focused prayer. As I talked with her on May 13, she was asking the Lord to open a way for the men trapped in the Mariupol Steelworks to be evacuated. Their situation was grim, and many were starving and dying due to war wounds. Women and children had been allowed out, but not the men. It seemed hopeless.
Then Monday came. The top headline I saw upon opening the BBC news app read, "Mariupol: Hundreds of besieged Ukrainian soldiers evacuated!"
Prayer works! In fact, God often waits to act in the earth until His people ask.
In his book, Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting, the late Derek Prince wrote, "God has vested in us—His beloved believing people on earth—authority by which we may determine the destinies of nations and governments. He expects us to use our authority both for His glory and for our own good. If we fail to do so, we are answerable for the consequences. Such is the message of Scripture, unfolded both by precept and by pattern. It is confirmed by the personal experience of many believers and is written across the pages of the history of whole nations."
As we learn of situations, planned legislation, disasters, business decisions and more—we have a say in the outcome. God has given us authority, as His ambassadors on earth, to ensure His will on the earth is accomplished through our prayer and fasting.
James 5:16b (NLT) tells us "the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are a righteous person. So your earnest prayers have power to produce wonderful results.
Jesus said, "if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted" (John 15:7). Several verses later He reiterates, "Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy" (John 16:24).
It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the evil we see and hear about, but we have authority to see things change. As part of the body of Christ, no one is called to address every issue. But together, we are called to be a mighty force of His good in the world.
Are you burdened about a particular headline in the news? Be motivated by love and commit to earnest prayer for a specific better outcome in Jesus' name. Then watch with expectation what God will do!
Dr. Jodie Chiricosta is vice president of Somebody Cares America/International. She is teaches and consults on a variety of Christian living and leadership topics and is a host of the Charisma podcast Her God Story.
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