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"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

The challenge to pray

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. 1 Samuel 12:23

Most of us would agree that prayer is important so why is our prayer life not what it should be? If we truly understand the privilege that bringing our concerns to God is, then prayer would be a delight. In reality, prayer often seems to be a chore. In the busyness of life, taking time out to pray – when we could be working – is a challenge.

Don Carson says that “one of the basic demonstrations that we know God is prayer – spiritual, persistent, biblically minded prayer”. If we want to take the task of representing Christ in sport seriously, we cannot do it without praying. Helmfried Riecker suggests reasons why we don’t pray

I don’t think I need to;
I am too tired.
God does not answer.
It achieves nothing.
I can decide for myself without any help.
I cannot pray; I am too sinful.
I can’t pray about such trivial things when there are so many problems in the world. God knows what I need, so why waste time praying.

St. Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622) former Bishop of Geneva was once asked how much one should pray. He replied that you should pray a half hour each day, unless you’re busy. If you’re busy, you should pray an hour.

Sometimes we feel too “spiritually dry” or far from God to pray. Ironically it is on those days, more than any other that we need to pray!

Keep a prayer journal where you note who you prayed for and what you prayed for. It can be a great encouragement to look back and see how God has been at work and also a challenge to keep investing in and praying for people and not giving up on them.

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