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"Lord, I don't ask that I should win, but please, please don't let me finish behind Akabusi."

Innocent Egbunike's prayer at the 1988 Olympics

The listening God

Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lamentations 2:19

Why are things always so much worse at night? You lie there awake. Will that injury never heal? Why are you training well but running such bad times? Why has your sponsor/club not renewed the contract? Why are others getting into races that you are not? (All the examples are from track and field but these anxieties arise in all sports). Then there are all the decisions of life to contemplate as well…

I love the expression “pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord”. I am British and we talk about having a “stiff upper lip”. We don’t give away our emotions. The correct answer to the question: “How are you?” is “I am fine” even if you are in despair. We like to bottle it and hope it will go away.

The listening God is there waiting for you to pour out your heart like water. And God is available 24/7, especially in the depths of the night when it all seems so much worse. Remember too the promise: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. (1 Peter 5:7)

If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep – talk to the shepherd!

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