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"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."

Penny Heyns

Prayer intro

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. Colossians 1:9

In 2002 in Osaka, at half-time between Nigeria and England to be precise, someone said something to me which has challenged me ever since. The words were: “Stuart, we need more people praying for football”. It was a thought with which I resonated. This is the first in a series of devotionals on prayer. Its purpose is not to educate you theologically. The aim is to get more people praying for the world of sport. There has been organized sports ministry in the UK for 30 years. Arguably its greatest achievement has been to get people praying for sport.

Prayer is a privilege but it is also a responsibility. It is “the Christian’s vital breath”. As Robert Murray McCheyne put it, “A man is what he is on his knees before God and nothing more”.

Prayer does not come naturally to us. If we are sportspeople, we are likely to be activists rather than the contemplative types. The disciple of taking time to pray each day is a challenge. The discipline of going training is somehow easier. In the series we will look particularly as how to pray for sport and what to pray for. Take a moment now to pray for your club, team mates, a sportsperson you know, ministry to sport that you are involved in.

Finally not much of my thinking is original. Thanks to Rachel Iley whose Prayer Manual has been invaluable, as have articles by Jennifer Oldroyd, Helmfried Riecker, Val Gin and Roger Lipe.

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