Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked Him for. — 1 John 5:14–15
One of the most effective things a coach can do is pray for the players and coaches involved in their program. Typically the sports prayer is for no one to get hurt, and for everyone to do his or her best. Those are good prayers. Today’s verses also give us the confidence to move on to much deeper levels of prayer for those around us—prayers that land in the direct center of God’s will and prayers for the people around us to come into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus.
A Christ-following coach may be the only Christian with which some players and coaches have contact. As a result, a Christ-following coach may be the only person praying for the salvation of these men and women.
Scripture teaches that our prayers please God: “This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tm 2:3–4). Our prayers go up before God as incense (Rv 5:8). Whether our title reads head coach, or assistant, God has placed us strategically in our various schools and programs. One of His purposes is that we identify with the work of Christ and make intercession for those who are unbelievers (Is 53:14).
When you and I pray for the salvation of others, we’re praying according to God’s will (2 Pt 3:9), and Scripture promises that when we pray in this fashion, God hears us. He may not respond in the near future, but He hears. “The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful” (Jms 5:16b).
Therefore, may we all devote ourselves to prayer (Col 4:2), praying, with all kinds of prayers, while remembering to pray as well for the eternal salvation of those around us.
1. Do you have a salvation prayer list?
2. What could potentially hinder our prayer lives?
3. Does John 6:44 give us a model for a salvation-oriented prayer?
Extra Reading: Luke 18:1–8; John 14:13–14
Father, please draw the people around me into a saving eternal relationship with Your Son. Amen.