Churches and Christians across the UK are being urged to pray for the media this Sunday, November 4.
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, London, and pioneer of The Alpha Course, are among church leaders who have submitted special prayers for the day.
The initiative is being promoted by Christians in Media, a UK network and community that supports, encourages and inspires Christians who work in, and with, media.
Rev Peter Crumpler, a former communications director for the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council, explained: ‘As Christians, we affirm and support the media’s vital role in our society. We want to promote the highest standards in the media, and give our backing to the vast majority of people working in media as they strive forintegrity and truth.
‘Just how tough a job it is to report the news around the world is shown by the deaths of 45 working journalists so far this year – higher numbers than previously seen.’
Christians in Media believe that, from national newspapers to local and community radio, from websites to specialist publications, from TV networks to blogs, all types of media have a valuable role to play. A thriving global and national media is essential to society.
Prayers submitted for the Day of Prayer for the Media include:
Lord Jesus Christ, you speak and bring all that is seen and unseen into being: we give you thanks for the gift of the media to reach the far flung places of the earth with messages of hope and life.
We give you thanks for those who risk their security and even their lives to expose injustice and to bring news of hope. May they strive to be the bearers of good news that all people may come to
know the abundant life for which we have been created; and yet more wonderfully redeemed in Jesus Christ. We offer our prayer in your name, in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Father. Most Rev and Rt Hon John Sentamu Archbishop of York.
Lord, thank you for all those in a position to help ‘point our lives in the right direction’ and for your Holy Spirit who strengthens us in this endeavour. Thank you for all those working in our local and national media and we ask you to guide them to bring truth, knowledge, wisdom and insight into our personal lives and our national life. Guard them against any who would wish to use them for ill and empower them by your Spirit to stand up for what is good. Rev Nicky Gumbel, Holy Trinity Brompton.
Lord Jesus, Pilate once asked you, “What is truth?” Today we ask the same.
Fake news? Spin? Poetic licence? Or the desire to reach to the very heart of things:
To inform, teach, reflect, ponder this messy business of being human.
Guard, guide and protect our journalists. Make them harbingers of truth.
And for those who know you as their Lord, heralds of the Gospel of truth.
May your Kingdom come. Rt Rev Jan McFarlane, Bishop of Repton and Acting Bishop of Derby, Chair, Sandford St Martin Trust.
God of grace, news of your Son spread first amongst the villages of the Galilee, was gossiped about in the streets, ruminated about in the places of debate, sometimes with wonder and intrigue, at other times as fake news, and has since spread to every corner of the world.
May your Holy Spirit equip all who work in the media to be seekers after truth, so that our world’s headlines and news feeds may draw nearer to your ways of justice, mercy and humility that we see in Jesus Christ. Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley.
Creator God, your Son told his disciples that the Truth would set them free. Help us to seek after Truth in all we do. As communicators, may we pursue Truth with diligence and passion.
As readers, listeners and viewers, may we discern Truth from falsehood, and always seek the good of others. As followers of Christ, may we grow more into His likeness, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Rev Peter Crumpler, former Director of Communications, Church of England.
We need to pray for the media and those working in the industry. Arguably we need to pray for ourselves as consumers. In this era of fast-paced consumption, we need to pray that media professionals refuse to sacrifice accuracy for speed – the need to be first – and to carry the message rather than market it. Collectively we need to be relentless in the search for truth and objectivity.
We need God in this. He’s bigger than us – the ultimate influencer. Lord, keep us steady; stop us relentlessly career-building and judging ourselves on followers, likes or the numbers in our networks. Help us see the truth and work for its promotion. Forgive us our human self-absorption. Keep at the forefront of our minds the need to understand and respect those we broadcast to and write for. Set us on a path to promote the common good and to help the poor and vulnerable in society.