ATLANTA, GA (ANS) -- I met up with Craig von Buseck, Director of Ministries for www.CBN.com, during the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta this week. (The last time I attended this event it was known as Christian Booksellers Association Convention). Craig is passionate about the need for Christians to do more than just Google the news - he is urging believers to “pray the news.” He and co-author, Wendy Griffith of CBN News (www.cbn.com/cbnnews), have produced a book that they hope will stir people out of complacency and into prayer.
Watching the news these days can stir up various emotions - anger, fear, anxiety depression and a sense of despondency. The world seems to be on a downward spiral and heading out of control. And many believers have a feeling of hopelessness and despair. It seems more comfortable for them to cut themselves off from the world and enter into their own little cocoon of religious isolationism.
But Craig argues that we cannot afford to be overwhelmed by the very bleak state of affairs in our world. He is the author of the new book, “Praying the News” (Regal Publishers) which is scheduled to be released on September 11th this year, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
He points out in this book that we have an obligation to get involved. We are called to be “salt of the earth” and a “city set upon a hill that cannot be hid.” (Matt 5. 14 & 16). In times past there were men of God who felt that in order to preserve and develop their personal holiness that they should take drastic action. This would require them to step out of the world and live a life of isolation and asceticism in caves or monasteries. But the Word of God makes it plain that we are called to be ambassadors for Christ, and change agents in our society. We are His representatives and must work in cooperation with Him to make a difference.
The apostle Paul declares that our role is to be an ambassador. As ambassadors we have the full weight and authority of God to represent Him in a foreign land where we are strangers and pilgrims. We are to convey the message that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. We have to understand that we have been given authority to act on His behalf.
Craig’s co-author, Wendy Griffith, who anchors CBN Newswatch, shares the story of what happened in the city of Manchester, KY where the town was in a desperate state with gangsters and drug lords dominating the landscape. The local pastors got together and organized a march of victory to claim their town back for God.
There are many people who feel insignificant and unable to make any difference in this wide world with its overwhelming problems. But von Buseck points to the passage in the New Testament where James assures us that “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5.16). Prayer does make a difference. The history of the Christian church is filled with examples of men and woman who turned the tide of their times and the tide of their nations by their prayers.
Cover of the book
Over a thousand people turned out for the march. Within months the city was rejuvenated and the gangs and drug lords withdrew as they saw their influence and sales dramatically diminish. As a result, the town has adopted a new moniker, “City of Hope”. Craig and Wendy go on to cite many other incidents in this challenging book.
There is no necessity for us to become fearful at the news. Satan seems to be getting an upper hand in the world. But this is a game of two halves and we know who wins in the end. God has not given us the spirit of fear - but of power and of love and of a sound and disciplined mind. (2 Tim 1.7). So let's come boldly to the throne of grace and bring the needs of this sick old world to the Savior. He is able to save the vilest of sinners; He is able to solve the most complicated of problems; He is able to calm the fiercest storms and He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. And your prayers can make a difference.
Instead of being intimidated by the news we should be asking the Holy Spirit to lead us to pray and show us what to pray. For Jesus promised “My sheep hear my voice.” Satan's task is to divert us from praying and he tries to bring us under condemnation. He is “the accuser of the brethren” and tries to tell us we are not worthy to pray and that our prayers are just empty words. But God removes all condemnation and takes our feeble words and makes them mighty weapons of change.
The May 2004 Manchester March
“Praying the News - Your Prayers are More Powerful than You Know” - is a challenging new book by Craig von Buseck and Wendy Griffith. Published by Regal Books, it is due to be released on September 11, 2011.
(article used with permission)
Nico Bougas is the International Coordinator of Hellenic Ministries (www.hellenicministries.com). He has a master's degree in communication from Wheaton Graduate School and M. Div and D. Min degrees from Trinity Theological Seminary. He is the author or co-author of four books. He previously worked for Youth for Christ in South Africa and was Editor of In Magazine and Christian Living TODAY and now serves as Consulting Editor to JOY Magazine. For further, information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.