It seems to me that much of the anger, mental and emotional anguish, and spirit of harsh criticism and meanness in our nation can be attributed to 24/7 news. We allow ourselves to be hourly exposed by our media to negative and disturbing stories. On the one hand, we need to be aware of what is happening in our world, but, on the other hand, we need to allow our minds and hearts time for peace and rest.
There is no way that five minutes of prayer and Bible reading can undo the damage to our body and soul caused by the consumption of massive quantities of TV and internet news. We must be bathed by the Bible and we must often enter into the presence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus, after hearing the horror of the beheading of John the Baptist, and then a long day surrounded by thousands of needy people, culminating in His miracle of feeding the massive crowd from a small boy’s lunch, gave us insight into how He unwound at the end of the day.
“Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.” (Mark 6:45-46)
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to daily combat with a sinful world. He learned from experience the meaning of Jesus words, “Do not worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25), and “Do not worry about tomorrow,” (Matthew 6:34). Paul’s counsel to Christians at Philippi and to us today is, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Everything by prayer.” Let this be our prayer, that God’s Holy Spirit will draw us continually “to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).