There’s A Lot of Praying In Sports

You’ve trained, practiced, and sacrificed for your athletic endeavors.  Along the way you’ve competed and given your best.  You may have finished well or placed well back from the top finishers.  What matters is whether you gave it your best effort. (1)

For some, giving their best effort incorporates a silent prayer.  I don’t know what athletes are praying for during competition.  You see football players in the NFL praying a lot. (2)

I suppose if you’re an NFL punt returner you may pray you don’t drop the ball.  Considering the size and speed of the punt returner’s opponents a prayer begging not to die during the return also comes to mind.

There are athletes turning to prayer for a boost in performance in all sports. You also see it in all religions.  But, there can be only one winner, aside from the rare tie, in a competition. So, does it mean that God was more on the side of the champion? (3,4)

No, it doesn’t.  You can pray all you want, but you will only do the best that you’re capable of on that day.  It doesn’t mean your prayer wasn’t answered.  If you did your best, competed fairly, and maintained your faith that’s the only answer to the prayer you need. (1)

Reference:

1.) 2 Timothy 4:7, King James Version: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

2.)https://www.outsideonline.com/2196101/god-dimension.  The Athletes Turning to Prayer for a Performance Boost.

3.)Greenwood TCDelgado T. A journey toward wholeness, a journey to God: physical fitness as embodied spirituality. J Relig Health. 2013 Sep;52(3):941-54. doi: 10.1007/s10943-011-9546-9.

4.)Pollack J,Holbrook C,Fessler DMT,Sparks AM,Zerbe JG. May God Guide Our Guns : Visualizing Supernatural Aid Heightens Team Confidence in a Paintball Battle Simulation. Hum Nat. 2018 Jun 18. doi: 10.1007/s12110-018-9320-8. [Epub ahead of print]