(prepared by Lilian Schmid)
Why Media Concerns Us
We are living in a media-driven world. Advertisements and propaganda bombard us everyday. Should the Church remain defensive or offensive in dealing with the media? Should we educate the Church to use the tools and strategies of the media for effective communication of the gospel and spreading the word of the Bible? Should we encourage the Church to embrace contemporary technologies for effective communication? Media is capital intensive. Should we mobilize resources for Christian media to demonstrate our love for reaching the unreached? If we believe that we have the Good News of eternal hope, should we organize the most advanced communication technologies and media for advancement of evangelization?
Can we redeem the secular media towards Christian values? Can Hollywood and other media production centres be converted for humane values and moral virtues? Can we use public media channels for Christian programmes?
Most Christian communication efforts today are targeted toward Christians only. Many Christian communications are so eternal that they do not address relevantly the local culture of the people in need. We may need to re-examine our models and strategies of communication for greater effective witness of our Faith. The age of mass crusades seems to be fading. The new generation is very personal.
They need people who can build relationships with them and communicate clearly. Music seems to be an effective art form for the young. We may need to present the truth of the Bible in contemporary and inspiring ways.
The world is moving toward globalization. There are micro and macro technologies that are available at relatively low cost that can reach the people globally. The impact of globalization can be turned into a positive thrust where Christian leaders can form global partnership and pool resources for integrative communication.
We need the means to get the gospel to listeners with minimal offence without limiting the power of transforming individuals. We need to search and expand our paradigms of communicating the gospel. We need to communicate propositional truth, relate culturally, develop community through relationship building, use story, and concern for the oppressed. We need to communicate Christ in culturally relevant and sensitive ways.
(Read further on the Lausanne Occasional Paper 48 web page)
“The media has a responsibility to tell the country what is happening in a way that connects Australians. If you see that people are not listening to the truth, find another way to tell the story.”
Jeff McMullen, foreign correspondent and strongly pro-Aboriginal journalist.
Media has been defined as the collective ecology of the world’s media including newspapers, journals, television, radio, books, novels, advertising, press releases, publicity and the blogosphere; any and all media both broadcast and published. The essential purpose of the Media is to provide a means of communicating information and opinions to a large audience, ostensibly with an intent to assist the public to make informed choices, but too often the Media ‘colours’ the information towards a particular set of views.
The widespread use of ‘smart’ devices and Internet connectivity has seen the rise of ‘Social’ Media as opposed to the entrenched ‘Mass’ or ‘Mainstream’ Media. The essential difference is that Mainstream Media puts the audience in a passive position whereas Social Media puts the audience at the center, i.e. in a potentially active role. The appeal of Social Media is that people feel that their opinions can be voices and heard by others. Most business enterprises have recognised this and as well as more traditional advertising in Mainstream Media, conduct marketing campaigns in Social Media using ‘Customer Advocates’ to push their produces and services.
Mainstream Media is suspicious and even hostile towards Social Media. Already many Media companions have lost revenue to shrinking advertising budgets and many news providers have been forced to move their products on-line to reduce costs and compete with free offerings from independent sources who are already on-line. The other shift is the transformation of news programming into entertainment, or elevating entertainment news to the same level as events in the ‘real’ world.
“I like him; he’s silly!” Bugs Bunny
Entertainment can be defined as an agreeable occupation for the mind, something affording pleasure, diversion or amusement. Traditional entertainment is usually passive or receptive only, as in watching performances of plays, films and music, and activities such as reading and watching television.
Recent technology has enabled a wide range of interactive entertainment (i.e. active not passive engagement) ranging from simple video or computer games to immersive experiences in virtual worlds and meeting rooms. The difference is ‘you WATCH the hero’ as opposed to ‘you ARE the hero’. This shift is driving social changes where many people live much of their lives playing these interactive games either by themselves or on-line with others in unreal environments as opposed to interaction with people in the real world.
Australia is a large producer and consumer of Entertainment. Because of its unique history and remoteness from most other countries, it has a distinct culture which is reflected in the content of Entertainment it produces. This uniqueness is further ‘spiced’ by multicultural elements from the many people who have settled in Australia from all over the world. Thus, the entertainment products from Australia’s strong Entertainment industry are well received and even sought after across the globe.
Pray for Media and Entertainment
Pray for People doing Ungodly Things in Media and Entertainment
“You may conceal your infirmity, even from your dearest friend, but you will not conceal it from your worst enemy.” Charles Spurgeon
“… ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.'” (Jude 14b-15)
Renounce Corruption, Crime and Cults within this Sphere
“Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me–for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.'” (1 Samuel 2:30)
Pray against Disobedience
“But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:14)
Pray that God Removes all Deceit and Lies
“Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.” (Psalm 31:18)
Pray Against Nudity and Immodesty in Mainstream and Social Media and Entertainment
Lord Have Mercy On Your People, Christ Have Mercy on Your People. They have sinned, in thoughts, words and deeds.
“For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great” Psalm 25:11
Pray against Pornography
Lord, technology has helped the world in many ways, but it has also proven to be a snare into sin through the lure of pornography. We ask a hedge of protection against this temptation that has the power to damage families and scar the spirit of both the one who views pornography and those who love those caught up in this trap. Help keep our minds on You in such a powerful way that pornography holds no allure. Give us the wisdom to remove temptations that we cannot resist, and to always keep You first in our hearts and minds. Amen
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Pray Against the Spirit of Adultery
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15)
Pray for Humility in Media and Entertainment
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
The Lord is the Author of all Good Media
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:15)
A Christian is responsible to know what God’s word says;
“His word is what sanctifies us” (John 17:17)
A Christian who dwells on God’s word will have a hunger and thirst for it and they will be grieved by these ungodly things, and will no longer desire them.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6)
Pray for Purity in Media and Entertainment
In this world where inappropriate images and behaviour are all around us, it can be more difficult than ever to remain pure. But for Your children, God, for those who choose You, there is no other choice but to live a life of purity. Help us all to keep the commitments that we have made to You. Help us to stay pure for that one special person that will one day be our husband or wife. Give us the strength to remain pure and let us always remember that the reward for purity will be well worth it. Amen
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Pray Against Ungodly Indoctrination in Media and Entertainment
There is much evil indoctrination and movies on TV and cinemas. God wants us to dwell on only good things;
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8)
Pray Against ‘Medium’ and ‘Occult’ TV Shows and Films
34 They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them,
35 but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs.
36 They worshiped their idols,which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods.
38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.
39 They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance.
41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,and their foes ruled over them.
Pray for Those Shaping Media Coverage of the World
Pray they will report both the good news and the Good News!
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'” (Isaiah 52:7)
Denounce information that is reported through the lens of evil in Media
“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)
Call for the Voices of Righteousness and Truth to be Heard
Just as Ezekiel called forth life from a dead environment (Ezekiel 37), we must call out those whom God has appointed to declare His character upon a mountain that has been ruled by the forces of evil. Remember, “Whoever controls the language controls the culture” (Dennis Peacocke).
“Deliver us from blood guiltiness, O God, the God of our salvation; Then our tongues will joyfully sing of Your righteousness. O Lord, open our lips, That our mouth may declare Your praise. For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise we would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.” (Psalm 51:14-16)
Pray that God is honoured in the sphere of Media and Entertainment.
“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Pray that the Sphere of Media and Entertainment will encourage godly lifestyles, behaviours and values.
“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Pray for Believers who are called to this Sphere:
- Pray that believers will be blessed and protected by God and His angels. Read Psalm 91 for their protection.
- Pray that believers in Media and Entertainment places across Australia (or your nation) will overcome darkness with the Light. Read John chapter 1
- Pray that talented people, who have godly lifestyles, behaviour and values will be drawn to the Sphere of Media and Entertainment. Read Matthew chapter 5.
God reigns in the sphere of Media and Entertainment! Read Psalm 47.
Pray for God to Send His Holy Spirit into the Sphere of Media and Entertainment
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud” (2 Chronicles 5:13)
Prayer for an Audition
Lord, You are in control of the whole world.
You make the sun shine and the wind blow.
Lord, please take control of this audition.
Calm my nerves. Give me Your peace. Please fill me with Your strength.
Help me perform to the best of my ability.
You gave me these gifts please allow me the opportunity to use them.
Please give wisdom to the people making decisions today.
Help them see me as Your creation—not a number.
Make them chose the actors You want in the roles, Lord.
I pray that if for some reason it is not Your will, that I get what I want,
that You will open my eyes to what it is You do want me to do this semester.
I know everyone here is Your creation, and You have plans for them too.
Lord, you know what I want—but Your will be done.
I give You control over this audition.