Do You Pray For Your Team To Win?

Do You Pray For Your Team To Win?

I sit here on a Tuesday morning wearing a University of Georgia sweatshirt and sporting a smile on my face. Why? Last evening, Georgia defeated Alabama for the National Championship in College Football. Should we pray for our college teams to win? We find ourselves praying for victories for our college and professional football teams. For the record, I didn’t pray for the Georgia Bulldogs to win last night. I may have prayed that Alabama not win. Just kidding. I did pray last night before I watched the game. This is what I prayed, “God, may you be glorified!” No, I don’t believe it is wrong to pray for your team. I do think the manner in which we pray is important. I have prayed with many sports teams before games. Even when I coached teams in the past, I prayed with my players (and sometimes parents as well). I pray for safety and protection for players, and I pray that we perform to our best ability, always adding, “So that you, God, may be glorified.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, therefore we should honor God with our bodies. Ultimately, the result of how we use our bodies (sports, academics, etc…) should be to give honor and glory to our God.

The real issue is not necessarily “how” we pray but “why” we pray. We should pray not to “get things from God” but we should pray to better reflect God to the world around us. Our prayer lives are consumed with many things. Some things are minor to us and some things impact our lives to a greater degree. I believe we should recognize the spiritual and eternal value in the things for which we are praying. We should be asking questions like, “How does this impact God’s Kingdom?” or “How does this honor the Lord?” God wants His children to have a winning attitude, even if the scoreboard shows otherwise. God measures winning by a different standard than what shows up on the scoreboard. I know coaches (including our own Coach Johnson) that understand that even losing a game comes with opportunities to teach character and life lessons that athletes will remember the rest of their lives. The reason I love sports is because of the parallels I see between our physical lives and our spiritual lives.

As we continue to move through the book of Joshua, I rejoice in the example of a courageous, victorious leader like Joshua. Last Sunday, I mentioned how God brings us out of sin, in order to bless us abundantly. In other words, God brings us out of the Land of Egypt (bondage) in order to bring us into the Land of Canaan (blessing). What we find is that many believers are floating around in the wilderness, afraid to take hold of the victory and blessing that God has already given to them. No longer do we have to walk around in defeat, the victory is ours through Christ. So be encouraged that God has already given us everything we need to live a life of godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Rejoice that Jesus Christ has defeated sin and death on our behalf. As a result, let’s thank God and worship Him for already making us “more than conquerors” through His great love for us!

Don’t forget about our Life Groups starting on Wednesday night following our family supper time. Let’s begin 2022, growing in His Word together.

Have a Jesus-filled week!

Pastor Todd

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