Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Athlete’s Prayer--for The New Year, New Season, New Team or Coach.
The Athlete’s Prayer:
“Lord, take my life, my energy, my event, and help me compete fairly and to the best of my ability today. I give you the New Year. Help me respect my opponents, and compete by the rules. Help me accept the outcome—win or lose—grant me the insight to evaluate and improve my performance, to support and encourage my teammates, and to listen to my coach. You created me with this love for sport, please use sport to mold me into a person whose life glorifies You. ”
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, The Message).
As 2009 begins many athletes are setting new goals, devising new training programs, and developing new strategies. You may be starting a new season, adjusting to a new coach, or getting to know the members of a new team.
Whether you are an experienced pro athlete, a college player, or just starting on a high school team, you have a drive to excel, to compete, to always give your best.
To paraphrase the oath taken by Olympic athletes, you want to play by the rules, without doping or drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship. You are dedicated, like athletes from every corner of the world, to going all out for the glory of your sport and the honor of your team.
For the Christian athlete, the New Year, a new season, a new team or a new coach all create reasons to pray. The Christian athlete prays because he or she wants to excel not just for the applause that fades but to honor the Lord by giving Him each race, each game, as a personal expression of thanks, of joy, and a token of personal commitment to being a faithful disciple. Whether you are a standout, a reserve player, or just a weekend athlete, if you follow Jesus your sport will give you relationships and opportunities to share your faith with others. Pray you’ll be ready when those opportunities come.