There are many who are hurting this day. There are people who are so full of sorrow that they can’t express it in words, but can only shed tears. Let those be tears of healing. Look upon us, Father:-
Bereaved – look upon the bereaved and give them comfort as they struggle to find some kind of sense of understanding and peace in their loss. We include those who have suffered miscarriage and those who, for whatever reason, have had a termination of pregnancy (You do not condemn, LORD – neither do we).
Lonely – look upon those who are lonely and give them the solace they need.
Physically/Mentally Ill – look upon those who struggle with all kinds of illness, whether acute or chronic. Strengthen them through the difficulties they face on a daily basis.
Addicts – look down upon those who are fighting addictions – alcohol, drugs, nicotine, pornography, gambling and other addictions. Give them the help they need to conquer these soul destroying habits.
Dysfunctional Relationships – look down upon those who are struggling with problems in their marriage and for the children who suffer the consequences of this. Let them be reconciled.
The Hungry – look upon those who struggle to feed themselves and their families, and those in third world countries who are starving and have no clean water.
Victims of War – look upon those who are caught up in the horrors of war. Be with them in their fear and distress. May peace be brought about.
Victims of Abuse – look upon the abused – men, women, children, elderly, handicapped, culturally different, and animals. May love, understanding and compassion bring about the end of all kinds of abuse.
Oh Father, there are so many instances where people are hurting. It breaks Your heart to see this. As followers of Jesus, help us to bring comfort and healing through the knowledge and faith of what He accomplished on the Cross.
Help us, LORD, not to look upon people as projects – but to see each one as an individual – to really understand what it is that is hurting them and to convey to them how knowing Jesus and having faith in Him can bless them and be the greatest gift they could ever receive.
Father, may we repent of any sin in ourselves. Help us to take our eyes off our own problems and give us the strength and compassion to be what others need us to be. Especially LORD, help us to play our part in bringing about Your kingdom, restoring Your Creation to that of loving fellowship with others and Yourself.
Hear our prayers, LORD,
In Jesus Name, Amen.
If there are any people/causes I have missed or that you would like to be added to the prayer, please leave a comment in the comment section. Thank you.
For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Christ is our STRENGTH
Psalm 18: 1-3 New Living Translation
I love you, LORD;
you are my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.
Christ is our JOY
John 15: 11 New Living Translation
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
Christ is our HOPE
1 Timothy 4:10 New Living Translation
This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people and particularly of all believers.
Christ is our Light
John 1:4 New Living Translation
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
Christ is our Rock
1 Corinthians 10:4 New Living Translation
and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that travelled with them, and that rock was Christ.
May Your name be glorified for You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration. You looked upon Your sinful children and chose to sacrifice Your only Beloved Son to cleanse us of our sin and reconcile us to You.
There are no words that are sufficient to praise You for all the blessings that You have poured on the heads of Your children and into the hearts of those that love and trust You.
Thank You for the riches of Your Grace and Glory which You gave freely to the world now and forevermore. We praise and bless Your name for ever and ever!
These are the Apostle Paul’s words as he addresses the church at Philippi in Greece.
Help us at all times, throughout our joys and sorrows, to keep our eyes fixed on you – the Most righteous, the Most joyous and the Most honourable of all.
Let us not be discouraged by the evil that is going on around us. Help us to turn away from the chaos and panic that is portrayed in the media and protect us from getting caught up in harmful gossip.
Instead, let us be immersed in Your Word through Scripture and prayer, and to always seek inspiration and encouragement through joyful music, and the unity of fellowship.
No matter what injustices and suffering in the world, there is infinitely more to thank and praise You for, therefore we ask that we may be strengthened to keep our sights on Heaven and Heavenly things.
Live in the past I will not. It is the same old human reaction that if only…If only I had done this different If I only I had could go back, and make things right There is nothing I would change for I would not be right where God has me, and wants me. Right […]
Sixty-one percent of Americans believe other versions, rather than the official story, about the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy. Five years after the 9/11 attacks, one in three Americans believed the U.S. was either responsible for the attacks or had knowledge of them and did nothing. Seventy-six percent of Russians don’t believe Americans ever landed on the moon — that is, if you can trust these polls.
Uncertainty about what to believe seems to be increasing as many people, especially Christians, have lost trust with the news media. As a result, many Christians are gravitating toward alternative news sources, and some of these are rife with conspiracy theories. This article will explore the nature and fruit of conspiracy theories and how Christians should respond to them.
What Is a Conspiracy Theory?
A conspiracy theory is, “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” A theory is an unproven idea that can be plausible, depending on the weight of the evidence.
Rather than gullibility, as some are alleging, there are a number of possible reasons why many Christians are inclined to believe in conspiracy theories. First of all, the Bible teaches that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and his strategies are cloaked in secrecy. Also, humans are born in sin and capable of incredible evil (Matthew 15:19).
Further, anyone interested in history is aware that numerous conspiracies have been carried out. Christians also try to remain alert to any evidence of abuse or oppression since horrendous secret crimes have occurred right in the middle of neighborhoods.
There is absolutely no question that conspiracies are real and occurring. However, there is wisdom in the old saying “A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.”
Are Conspiracy Theories on the Rise?
There are some indications that conspiracy theories are on the rise, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but conspiracy theories have long been part of the human experience.
Historical data on conspiracy theories is very limited and has only recently become a focus of research, but reports indicate they have been rampant for at least the past hundred years. As Scripture says, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
As society becomes more and more polarized, political allegiances threaten the unity of the church. There are many ways this has played out recently, but one example has been the controversy over masks.
What Does the Bible Say about Conspiracy Theories?
There are several principles from Scripture that can help Christians respond in a biblical way to conspiracy theories.
1. Do not fear what the world fears. Around 700 years before Christ, Isaiah preached to his generation a message that is just as relevant today. “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread” (Isaiah 8:12-13).
In the Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, Walter Elwell comments on this passage, “Isaiah is warned not to identify with the secular values of his contemporaries (Isaiah 8:11-15). Those who follow the Lord are not to give in to the prevailing political and economic winds of their age. Isaiah reminds us to look at the world from God’s perspective: the world is under his judgment and the Lord himself should be the object of our fear.”
2. Avoid slander and gossip. Because conspiracy theories usually cannot be proven, they are, by their very nature, often guilty of slander and gossip. These sins are included in the list of unrighteous thoughts and actions that are deserving of God’s eternal judgment (Romans 1:29-30). Proverbs says whoever “spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18). Peter said to get rid of “slander of every kind” (1 Peter 2:1).
Paul urged gossipers to seek employment (2 Thessalonians 3:12), but in our culture, people can literally make a living by spreading slander and gossip online. Those with wild imaginations and a YouTube account can easily find an audience for their latest rumor about someone famous.
3. Meditate on God’s truth. Philippians 4:8 gives instructions for the kind of content that should prevail in the thought-life of the believer: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
We are also taught to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to “stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (Ephesians 6:14). When we allow ourselves to ruminate on unverified speculations, our minds can quickly degenerate into a dark space, potentially becoming a tool of the enemy.
Joe Carter writes, “Many modern conspiracies being spread by Christians were concocted by alt-right occultists, New Age pagans, or some other group dedicated to anti-Christian esotericism. Ultimately, though, all slanderous conspiracy theories originate from Satan. If we are a people filled with the Spirit of truth (John 14:17), we won’t spread messages from the father of lies (John 8:44).”
4. Obey God’s commands. Dru Johnson, who has written on the topic of conspiracy theories, says there is a “soft Gnosticism that goes on with conspiracy theories, where we just want to know because we think knowledge is power in and of itself. But scripture would say doing what God has commanded is actually the power part.”
Two clear commands are to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31) and submit to authority (Titus 3:1-2; Romans 13:1-7), and yet some Christians are tempted to disobey these due to their belief in conspiracy theories. Of course, if the authorities tell us to do something that violates one of God’s commands, then “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, ESV) and endure persecution for the sake of Christ.
But there are no other rights for those who have been called to live as though they are “not of this world” (John 18:36; John 17:14-16). Christians are commanded to give up everything, including the comforts of this world, to follow Christ (Luke 14:33). We imitate him by showing to the world “the most excellent way” of sacrificial love (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:7).
Damaging Our Christian Witness
As Christians, who are called to be representatives of the one true God and the truth of his gospel, maintaining our credibility is crucial to our testimony. Many mistakes have been made throughout history when professing Christians made bold proclamations that turned out to be false. Some of these resulted in people becoming disillusioned and turning away from Christ completely.
Ed Stetzer warns that by sharing unproven conspiracy theories, Christians can be guilty of bearing false witness. He writes, “We believe Christ resurrected and He’s coming again. We believe that none of this is myth, rumor, or groundless belief. We believe in a God who is truth itself.
When we bear false witness, we establish a reputation for blindly succumbing to unverifiable or groundless stories. How can we effectively witness when we have negligently borne false witness? How can we then claim to be the body of truth itself? When we spread conspiracy theories and fake news, we discredit ourselves, and we allow the gospel to be discredited as well.”
Andrew MacDonald says, “Christians need to recognize that they cannot separate their Christian witness from their political posts.” He encourages Christians to evaluate whether Christ is truly Lord of their social media. “How we speak to one another, the kinds of stories we elevate, and the language we choose all flow out of this question of lordship.” He encourages believers to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) about what to read and what to post. “If you are struggling to know who to listen to, start with prayer.”
The Way Forward
Christians have an incredible opportunity right now to show a different way to our polarized society. We have the Holy Spirit to help us maintain our unity (Ephesians 4:3) in the midst of our differing opinions. Let’s unite together in spreading God’s truth, not rumors!
Jessica Miller is a pastor’s wife in Indiana and she serves as the church’s director of outreach. She has degrees in biblical studies and counseling. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She tweets and blogs from time to time.
We are delighted that you joined us for ToGather.church. (Find out more.) What follows is our home worship guide for you to use on your own or to share with your friends, family, home group, or house church.
Today we want to focus on Jesus, the one who pioneered the way to live victoriously and who lives to be with us and to intercede for us through every step of our lives.
You are encouraged to read Paul’s words of assurance out loud as we proclaim that nothing can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus, our Lord:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord “(Romans 8:35-39).