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"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager

Praying for Christian sportspeople

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength. Ephesians 1:16-19

So often we pray very blandly for people. “God bless so and so”. Paul was very specific in his prayers. When he prays for the Ephesians, he

1 Thanks God that he has been at work in their lives;
2 Asks that they would know God better;
3 Prays that they would realize the hope to which they have been called, the inheritance that is theirs and the incredible power that was available to them.

As we pray for people, let is be specific in our prayers. Paul’s prayers are very spiritual - and that is good – but let us also pray practically. Play for their family. Pray for their work. Ask them what you should pray for.

Be practical. Keep a prayer notebook or folder so that you can remember what to pray for. If you are praying for an athlete, get their competition and training schedule so that you can pray intelligently. I play for a sports administrator. Each month he sends me his schedule.

Other practical points:
Send people texts messages or emails to say that you are praying for them. Pray for and with the person when you meet them. I love to pray for athletes in a stadium, training centre etc (I don’t usually kneel or close my eyes!) Pray with them over the telephone – but keep it short, practical and to the point

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