Praying through the daily bad news
September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- “Daddy, those must be bad men if they would make a law like that,” my seven year old daughter told me one evening as we sat in our living room for our family prayers. I had just finished telling my children that we must pray really hard for our country which was about to pass a new law legalizing the practice of euthanasia.
I often ask my kids to pray for the heavy duty stuff I write about at work as a life-and-family news reporter, because I know that God hears the prayers of little children. After all, it’s God who told us to let the little children come to him because to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. I usually make sure to explain to the kids what they are praying for in a way they can understand.
The conversation on this particular night ran something like this: “Kids, we need to pray that a bad law won’t be passed that would allow doctors to kill their patients if the patients want to die.”
“But Daddy,” one of my six kids asked, “why would anyone want to make such a law?”
“Because some people think that death is the only way to solve the problem of growing old or becoming very sick or being in lots of pain and having to be dependent on someone to look after you,” I said.
“But Daddy, why would they want to kill them and not just look after them?”
“Well, maybe it's because people don’t love one another and care for one another enough. We have to pray that people love one another more. If this law passes, it will allow people to do much evil to one another and make the world more miserable.”
“Daddy, those must be bad men if they would make a law like that.”
“No, little one, our lawmakers are not bad people, they just don’t know much about love and how God wants us to live by loving him and then loving each other. We must pray that the lawmakers see the truth and make laws that reflect it. So, let us pray that people love each other and that the law does not pass.”
For the following weeks, when we were offering our intentions before our Rosary, one of the kids would always pipe up, “So that the bad law won’t pass.”
As new developments came along, I would tweak what needed to be prayed for.
Finally one day I said: “Kids, the bad law unfortunately passed today. We need to pray for the doctors who will use the law to harm their patients and for the old and the sick who see no other option but to die. This law displeases God very much because he commanded us not to kill one another. We need to pray in reparation for this sin of our country.”
“Daddy, what does ‘re-par-tition’ mean?”
“It means to make up for the wrong that has been done, little one.”
There is always so much to pray for, but the kids never seem to tire of adding something new to the list.
Sometimes there are people in my reports who are taking a courageous stand against some evil. I’m not kidding when I tell these people after an interview that we will pray for them during our family prayer time later on that night.
Recently I’ve asked my kids to pray for parents in Tennessee who are fighting for their right to opt their kids out of a graphic sex-ed course in a Catholic school.
“Kids, we need to pray for some parents — especially one brave mom — who are fighting to protect their kids from taking a bad course in school.”
“But Daddy, why would the school want to teach something bad?”
“Well, it might be because the teachers have a kind of sickness where they think they are giving the students something good, but really it will only harm them and might even cause some of them to do very bad sins that offend God very much. We must also pray for the purity and safety of all the students. We must also pray for all of us to be pure and holy and pleasing to God, little one.”
“But Daddy, what are the parents doing about it?”
“They are trying to make it happen that their kids won’t have to take the course. But, the school told them that they couldn’t do that. And the bishop is backing what the school said.”
My wife: “We should pray for that bishop too!”
Me: “Yes, let us pray for the bishop so that he will defend the rights of the parents to look after their kids.”
Lately, every evening during prayer time, one of the children will inevitably pipe up: “For those parents who are trying to protect their kids.”
“And for the bishop,” my wife will chime in.
I also ask the kids to pray for the people in my reports who cause a great deal of harm.
“Kids, we need to pray for an activist who is going into schools and telling students that it is OK to live a life that is very displeasing to God.”
“Kids, tonight let us pray for a politician who believes that it is OK for a mother to kill her pre-born baby and who wants to make it even easier for her to do that.”
“Let us pray for an abortionist who died today, that God will have mercy on his soul.”
There is always so much to pray for at LifeSiteNews. I am firmly convinced that no human power is capable of untangling the mess of murder, immorality, and faithlessness that we see unfolding about us on a daily basis. I believe that only God alone in his time and in his way can deal with all the problems.
It would be very easy to give into frustration or even despair when surveying the vastness of the problems, but this would be to only become part of the problem. As a pro-life-and-family reporter I can do a little part to restore order by shedding some light on the darkness. But, as a Christian I believe that I can do far more by praying with my family for God to rain down his grace and mercy on whatever the situation might be or whoever it is that needs our prayers.
I believe in the power of prayer. Jesus tells us that whatever we ask for in his name, he will do it. I think God wants us to ask because only an asking person realizes that he is dependent on the one who can give. And that realization makes us like little children, who depend on a loving parent for everything. We have to learn to be dependent on God, the giver of every perfect gift, so that he can do the work of salvation in and through us. So, dear reader, let us bring our cares, worries, and sorrows to our loving God in prayer, like little children, and let us expect miracles.
P.S. One thing we’ve been praying for lately in our family prayers is for the success of our LifeSiteNews fundraising campaign. We are still way short of our goal. If this piece has moved you, I ask that you help us reach our goal, so we can continue doing our job to bring you the most accurate and trustworthy news in the world on the life-and-family front. (CLICK HERE TO DONATE) Thank you for your generosity. And God bless you. We will pray for your intentions during our family rosary during the rest of our campaign.
Pete Baklinski has a masters in theology (STM). He is married to Erin and together they have six children, with one on its way in October. They live in Combermere, Ontario.