Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
Main Prayer Focus of the Week:
- That there will be a new understanding of discipling Media as a part of the Great Commission.
- Envisioning: To pray for a fresh vision for social media in light of the Great Commission and the Kingdom of God.
- Spiritual Warfare: To wage war against the hordes of hell that are confusing the church and resisting her advance on the Media mountain.
- Recommitment to fulfilling the Great Commission through social media.
OVERVIEW OF THE WEEK’S THEME
Social media refers to websites and applications that are designed to allow people communicate more efficiently, and in real-time. Though this mode of communication started on computers, the introduction of tablets and smart phones has greatly expanded their usage. The advent of social media has created a new scenario that has made everyone with a smart phone a potential journalist – producer of content with the potential to reach the world. The ability to share photos, opinions, events, etc. in real-time has transformed the way we live and do business. We now can reach out to millions of people even across the borders of our nations through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, snapchat, and Instagram by just using your phone. Each believer can use his or her phone to spread to a much wider audience the things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy according to Philippians 4:8.
Social media is the new form of “word of mouth”. It amplifies the power of the tongue perhaps more than anything else in human history. Great responsibility is needed for anything that has great power. While the benefits of social media are enjoyable, many are still unaware of its dangers and power to even destroy themselves. When a social media post is shared out by a large number of people, it is said that the post went “viral” i.e. it is spreading like a virus. This can be good if the post is positive but can also be evil and destructive if the post is negative – promoting anger, fear, terror, lust, and negativity. Just like the tongue, social media doesn’t do anything to people, it only reveals what is in one’s heart. In this way it is an extension of the tongue.
Addiction to social media is becoming the new “drug addiction”. It has been described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. Social media sites provide tools that allow people to earn other’s approval for their appearance and the possibility to compare themselves to others. Selfieholics and people who spend most of their time posting and scrolling are the ones most vulnerable to this. Another growing concern is cyberbullying. This has had a negative effect especially on teenagers who are very vulnerable to others’ opinions about them.
Though today in Uganda there are 407 radio Stations and 40 TV stations, social media is showing strong growth and increasingly phasing out the other forms of media as it becomes more dominant – making it a very powerful means of mass communication. This is an opportunity for both good and evil. As already stated, both truth and lies are very powerful: one as a force for good and the other as a force for evil.
PRAYING FOR THE SOCIAL MEDIA
Thank God for:
- The gift of social media that our generation unlike any other generation before us is enjoying. Families living far apart are kept connected in real time, Long-lost friends and acquaintances are being reconnected. Communication has been made easier, quicker, and less expensive.
- The easier access to information and truth that has been made possible through the platform of social media.
- Those who are using social media to communicate truth and positivity in every sphere of society.
Ask God’s forgiveness for:
- The failures of the Church to lead the way in promoting the positive use of social media.
- The promotion of evil in society through the platform of social media: propagation of lies (fake news), pornography, violence, anger, fear, terror, and negativity.
- The Body of Christ and indeed the whole nation will be trained to discern lies and use social media for Kingdom purposes.
- Social media will be used as a platform to provide a voice for the voiceless: vulnerable children, people with disabilities and those with less advantageous social backgrounds.
- Many will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth through social media in the years ahead.
- More and more people who reflect the biblical worldview will enter and positively use the space of social media.
- Truth will triumph over lies as sons and daughters of God’s Kingdom advance and dominate the spaces in social media.
- More children of God’s Kingdom will arise to express the creativity of God the Father through social media.
- Policies that promote the positive use of social media will be enacted.
- Policies that restrain the use of social media to propagate lies (fake news), slander, and pornography will be enacted and robustly enforced.
- God will judge the Hivite spirit that is dominating the media with the aim of promoting anger, fear, terror, and negativity among people.
- Programs and curricula that are training mass communicators will be reviewed, reformed and upgraded to produce individuals with a constructive and positive approach to using the media for national good.
- The government ministries and agencies that oversee media: Media Council of Uganda, the Uganda Communications Commission, the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology together with the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity will all effectively carry out their respective mandates. Pray for the effective leadership and management of these organizations.
Pray that in the years ahead God will be greatly glorified through Social Media in Uganda.