Sign of Strength
"The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful."
I recently saw a great program by NFL Films about religion and football. It was a great 30-minute program that has the potential to produce many great discussions within your Huddles and team studies. One segment featured prayer. A former player, Deacon Jones, said that those who prayed before a game or during a game displayed a sign of weakness, and that perhaps they hadn't prepared well enough in the week leading up to the game. Wow, what a powerful statement. Prayer being a sign of weakness...
In James and all throughout the Bible we are commanded to pray. Our verse for today says that the prayer of a righteous person as great power. Let's give Mr. Jones the benefit of the doubt for a moment. Maybe he was referring to players of no faith praying that God will give them victory or help them win after a week of activity not pleasing to God. I would agree that to call that a weak practice. But on the flipside, the player who walks in the light of God knows that prayer is a sign of strength — the strength of knowing that God is with them, and that all they do on the field of battle is for His glory.
The prayers of the righteous in sport are for victory for sure, but not victory on the scoreboard. They are for victory over pride, greed, evil desires and the sins that can so easily entangle us when competing. They are prayers for strength in attitude, proper language, and for carrying out God's glory through their on-the-field actions.
I am glad that NFL Films has opened this door, and I hope more NFL athletes will stand up for their faith on and off the field. God does belong in football (and every other sport), and to pray before the game is a sign of strength.
Be strong. Be bold. PRAY!
1. Do you view prayer as a weakness?
2. How can you turn a weak prayer life into a strong one?
3. What can you do today to make prayer a strength in your life?
1 Thessalonians 5:17