Here’s a challenge for you: Look beyond the headline of the day from your favorite news station, paper, or website and try to find the obscure stories. As part of my Twenty-Nine Bible reading endeavor, I try to find something that’s happening from around the globe for a prayer focus once a week. I’ve been blown away how many times stories and events from all over the world are overlooked simply because our attention is focused on the headline of the day.
Yes, healthcare.gov was a disaster at launch, but did you know there was a polio outbreak in northern Syria? Speaking of Syria, whatever happened to those chemical weapons? Just in the past two months dozens were killed in bombings in Mosul and Pakistan. There was flooding in Mexico, and eighty-two child soldiers were saved by a UN force in Congo back in August.
The freed child soldiers story is the one that really challenged me to look beyond the headlines. I can’t imagine the difficulty of transitioning out of that forced violence. It was good news in the seemingly overwhelming flood of bad news coming from news outlets, and they could certainly use prayer. Sadly the story was mostly overlooked by the violence in Egypt and the Republican National Committee boycotting NBC and CBS.
Mainstream news media outlets are not non-profits.
They fight for market share and our attention, and with modern accessibility to instant news they feed our thirst to know what’s trending. Thus top stories will dominate front pages of whatever arrives on your iPad or doorstep.
What does this mean for us? It means if we really want to know what’s going on in the world (and sometimes in our own nation) we have to work for it. Click on the “world” section of your favorite news website or find a country and search news within that location. It is a challenge, but one that could make a difference… not just for the sake of awareness… but for the sake of prayer.