In a recent issue in The Smithsonian there was a piece that was about the fading newspaper industry. There were pictures of the 1950’s newsroom of a long gone afternoon rag in New York City. There were newspaper reporters practically on top of one another, on the phone, on an Underwood pecking away and a guy smoking a cigarette that was practically in another man’s ear. The writer captioned the article with pointing out that most of these items (including the wooden worn desks) as things you could find at estate sales and rummage sales. There was a feeling from the photo that these guys were working out stories and copy on a deadline and still had the time to refine and edit their work in ways that have long since been gone. It was romantic and it was industrial at the same time.
A year ago I started praying the headlines but I admit I left some things out and I added my own editorial comments. Public Prayer should never be opinionated. It should be inviting and helpful, bringing God into the conversation and while it should be corrective, challenging and life-changing, it should not be what I want but what God wants to do as far as answers. The contrasting photos of a news room in the Smithsonian article also had an inset of The Washington Post circa 1972. It was Woodward and Bernstein in the midst of the Watergate scandal. The newsroom looked more like an office of the time than a warehouse from the ’50’s. There was a third contrasting photo and that was a reporter with a briefcase and a backpack with a laptop, a smart phone a notebook (moleskin) and a digital recorder and camera.
We can report anywhere and we can pray everywhere. We are not confined to the Underwood, the Selectric or even the desktop computer. We have always been connected-if we chose the right Wi-Fi connection to talking to God and to praying with each other. God doesn’t want us to confine our prayer to our “prayer closets.” He welcomes conference calls. At the National Prayer Examiner I need to remember this and in that case when I pray the headlines I’ll just pray that He will help me report and pray the news of the day.
Todays prayer: (the Me Knobody Knows)
When my prayer asks to search my heart
I’m asking for a fresh new start- correct me.
When my mind tells me- challenge your art
I give you the keys- to take me apart- challenge me
When my head and my legs need an ouce of clarity
no matter how far I need to run- Lord please change me
Chorus- No I can’t lose you I need your favor
I can’t move on if I rely on my own labor
I can work harder, but I can’t let go of my own reputation,
the me nobody knows (Growth)
Lose myself to follow
Living out the story
My own song may ring hollow
so I give you all the glory- right now
When the canvas drops and all the paint chips away
I want to be known as a man who found your way-hey
the kings Highway.