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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

Praying for sports friends

Be faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Pray for the world of sport involves praying for people you do not (yet) know Jesus Christ. We should pray that they come to know Jesus – what could be a more important prayer? But we should also pray for them as people so that we communicate that we care for them as people – not just as souls to be won.

As we pray for our friends to come to know Jesus, it is often helpful to identify two or three people in our club, workplace etc and pray for them specifically and persistently for them – rather than praying vaguely for everyone in the club. And if we are praying for them to come to know Jesus, then we are more likely to seek an opportunity to invite them to something or share our faith with them.

In praying for people who do not know Jesus, I find it helpful to remember what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel”. This is a useful reminder that it is not about my ability to convince someone of their need of Jesus. I must pray that their eyes would be opened.

Increasingly lately I have had the courage to offer to pray for people. Even in our secular society, I have received positive responses. I recently spoke to a senior administrator in the London Olympics who shared with me the pressure he felt in his workload and the long hours – adding that he saw no let-up until 2012. I have no idea if he has any faith or not but I offered to pray that he was able to balance family and work. He seemed grateful. In a month or so I will email to say I have been praying

And finally, if you offer to pray for someone, write it down in your prayer notebook and do it!

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