All In With Bryce Petty
Growing up in Midlothian, Texas, sports were pretty much an assumption, a way of life. I was always competing in whatever sport was in season, and usually multiple sports at once.
Looking back on those days, I realize now that I never fully connected my faith to my sport. I mean, sure, I would pray before games and give the occasional point to the sky after a touchdown, but it never went beyond that. And in so doing, I never allowed myself to fully go All In for Christ. Sports had always been such a big part of who I was, but I never did—or even knew how to—integrate my faith into them.
During my five years at Baylor, I’ve been surrounded by some solid people who have poured into my faith and taught me that my identity lies in who I am in Christ, not in the sport I play. Chris Wommack—a great friend and mentor—and I have done a Bible study over the last two years, and he challenged me to bring God onto the field with me in more ways that just saying a prayer before the game.
Chris dared me to take that a step further—or several steps further—and literally pray before each snap.
Now, if you’ve ever seen how fast our no-huddle offense operates at Baylor, that probably sounds completely nuts. But I really think it illustrates how God works in our lives. He wants every part of us. In the midst of the chaos and turmoil that life can throw at us, he wants our thoughts on Him, and He promises to provide a peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). In 1 Thessalonians 5 we’re told to “pray without ceasing … for this is the will of God…” (v. 17-18, ESV)
My pre-snap prayer doesn’t have to be long or drawn out—just a simple, “All right, God, here we go.” And a remarkable thing has happened. Praying before each snap has given me more peace and comfort than I ever thought was possible amongst so much action and chaos. It helps me keep perspective. Jesus just wants us to want Him in our lives, especially when we feel like our backs are against the wall. He wants to be there to share in our successes and—perhaps even more so—in our failures.
Today and every day, I can truly say I am All In for Christ during every play on the field and in every decision I make off of it. I play and live with His confidence and strength, knowing that He is right there beside me every step of the way. I do everything in His name, giving thanks to Him for all He’s done for us.
For more about Petty’s faith in his own words, watch the video at the link below, then take a few minutes to answer the questions and read the related Scripture.
1. How do you go “All In” for Christ as you compete or coach?
2. How can you incorporate prayer more thoroughly into all aspects of your sport?
3. What are some specific examples of how you’ve felt God’s presence in the midst of competition?
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18