Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Breaking Through the News

Looking to start an "out of the box" ministry? I have an idea for you.

Recently I subscribed to the newspaper. Usually I scan it for pertinent information. I keep saying that I don't want all this negative, bad news. The only reason I started the newspaper was because they offered me a good deal. Suddenly it hit me why I really ordered it. It wasn't the low cost. It was the need to pray for what is happening both on a local and worldwide level.

I was really alarmed by recent news concerning a young 24-year-old woman who jumped off the bridge after she drowned her children. The children were found lying side by side in the bed. We say "Oh God, why?" I know prayer won't change the situation, but I could not help but weep for the husband/father, the woman's parents and friends who were left behind.

I can pray that someone will be more sensitive to hear those silent cries. I can pray that those despondent people will open up and share their feelings. They need to talk to someone before it comes to ending lives. I wish she had asked someone to take her children in order to give them a chance. These poor children did not have a say in the matter. As a great grandmother, I cried when I saw their little faces in the paper.

Yet we must ask God what we can do to prevent these kinds of things from happening. We need to know our neighbors. Perhaps we can ask God to help us to be sensitive if we see a young single mother with children. We can ask them if they need any help, like cooking a meal or watching their children for them to have a break.

As I continued to read in the newspaper, I saw many of the decisions our President has to make every single day. They were BIG decisions and I know he needs God's wisdom each and every day. These are crucial times.

Now back to my suggestion for an "out of the box" ministry. Do you like to pray but run out of things to pray for after five or 10 minutes? Do you want to start a prayer ministry in your home?

Here's the idea. How about inviting your neighbors together to pray for the needs in the newspaper? You can pray for those missing children you read about so they can be found, pray for people starving in other lands to get the resources they need, or any other thing that the Lord shows you to pray for. It is a good way to get involved. Everyone in your group can bring their paper and pick out a certain article to pray about. It is even more effective if, as the host, you make a pot of coffee or set out some juice. An example of what you could call yourselves is the Sun Risers or Night Watchers, depending upon what time of day you have it.

In order to make this a two-fold purpose, you can organize a potluck dinner once a month or every other month. Not only will you be ministering to the needs in the newspaper, developing awesome relationships with your neighbors who have joined your prayer group, but you could reach out to those in need around you.

You might want to send out invitations to those that don't attend your newspaper ministry club, especially the single mother, the elderly, and the widow. You can make a bulletin board with prayer requests and have them add a name or a prayer need. Make it simple. This way you get to know your neighbors and can pray for them.

Call your neighbors on the right and left and give them your phone number in case they need you. If we know our own community, we can be on the lookout for any serious problems. Someone may call and say they are depressed. You can comfort them. The widow may be lonely and you could offer a visit or a call. We may help someone we know from becoming a victim in the newspaper. The vision of this ministry is to see "a break though in the news!" With God's help, we can do it.

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (Luke 10:2).

Copyright 2002 Cathy Irvin. Used by permission.

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