There are many reasons why we should be in constant prayer with our Heavenly Father for our students and teams. Many are listed below, but a starting point would be simply to say “Thanks” for all the gifts and blessings we have been given.
Why should we pray for student-athletes and teams? Here are some thoughts from the Bible:
- “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”. -James 5:16
- “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” -James 4:3
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5
And some thoughts from other helpful resources:
- “Reformed theology has consistently insisted on the importance and effectiveness of prayer. God made us and redeemed us in order that we might have fellowship with him, and that is what prayer is—fellowship with God. . . . There is no tension or inconsistency between the reality that God is sovereign over all things and the fact that prayer is effective. Just as God has ordained eating as a means by which hunger may be satisfied, so he has ordained prayer as a means by which events may come to pass.” — Spirit of the Reformation Bible (page 1554)
- There are six possible reasons athletes utilize religious prayer: prayer as a coping mechanism for uncertain stressful situations; to help live a morally sound life; to sanctify athletes’ commitment to sport; to put sport into perspective; to establish a strong bond of attachment between teammates; and to maintain social control. — Coakley, J.J. (2003). Sport in society (8th Ed.). Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.
- “I challenge you to shift the focus of your prayer. Don’t spend a lot of time describing your mountain to the Lord. He knows what it is. Instead, focus your attention on the mountain mover—his glory, power and faithfulness. Then start walking in faith, following his leading, and watch that mountain step aside.” — Hybels, Bill. (1998). Too busy not to pray. Downers Grove, Illinois.
What specifically could we pray for student-athletes and teams?
An article in the August 2009 Banner “31 Ways to Pray for Your Children” by Bob Hostetler, addresses the topic of what specifically to pray when praying for our children. The author refers to a testimony his Pastor’s wife shared with his church about praying for her children to develop strong Christian morals and the fruit of the Spirit. Taking what he learned from the testimony, Bob Hostetler then developed a pattern of praying. Each day of the month, when he prayed for his children he asked God “to plant and nurture in them a specific character trait, virtue, or fruit of the Spirit” through the efforts and influences of others. In our case, this could be parents, coaches, and teammates, and through their own actions and decisions. The author developed a list, with suggestions for prayers from Scripture, which we can apply to help pray specifically for the athletes and coaches of our school. To read the full article and see the list please click on the following link. http://www.thebanner.org/news/article/?id=2201