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“Knowing Christ is the best thing that has ever happened to me, although winning the US Open was a pretty good second.”

Alison Nicholas

Lord’s Prayer 1

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13

Then we pray we need to start by looking beyond ourselves. In Rich Warren’s famous words “It’s not about you”. The prayer helps us to focus on:

God’s nature – Our father
God’s holiness – Hallowed be your name
God’s kingdom - Your kingdom come
God’s will - your will be done.

Prayer is about making our requests known to God but this gives us the context. Our requests must be consistent with God’s nature, holiness, kingdom and will. The prayer also focuses on our needs: bread, forgiveness and the strength to resist sin.

That we can pray for such a basic thing as bread encourages us to pray for any practical thing and that includes our sport.

Forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity – a daily experience of confessing our sins and experiencing the joy of forgiveness.

Praying for strength in time of testing is essential too – whether than relates to our attitude to match officials (always my greatest test as a player!) or any aspect of our sporting or daily life.

Witney Kuniholm has written: “For Jesus, prayer was not a verbal formula. It was the natural extension of a lifestyle focussed on doing the father’s will”. Now there is a challenge for us.

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