Football is without question one of the most famous sports in the United States. In the American context, football is a sport where two teams play using an oval-shaped ball, with the goal of scoring points by carrying and reaching the end of their opponent’s field, which we all know as a touchdown, or by making the ball pass through a bar with two posts by kicking the ball. There is a distinction between how the term “football” is used between Americans and Europeans. Europeans refer to “football” as a sport where two teams strive to score a goal using a round-shaped ball and (primarily) their feet. The term used in the US for that sport is “soccer”. While soccer, baseball, and basketball are some of the most famous sports in the US, football holds a special place in America. Many Americans watch football games and cheer for their favorite team. However, just like any contact sport, football can get quite dangerous as well. Given the nature of the sport, you must not only run, but also tackle your opponents, especially if you are trying to prevent them from tackling your quarterback, running back, or receiver, thus allowing them to score a touchdown. While there is indeed protective equipment that football players use to make their shoulders look big, there is still a high risk of injuries or accidents. That means that one of the things that you can pray for as a football player is safety or protection from any injury or accident.
How do you pray before a football game?
As mentioned above, given the nature of football, there is always the risk for injuries or accidents to occur, even if players wear protective equipment. That is something critical that you can pray for before the start of your football game. Here is how you can pray for safety, to ensure that no injuries or accidents happen during the football game:
Father in heaven, I pray that you will protect me from any injury, especially injuries that are severe. Protect me from any accidents, and I pray that no severe accidents occur on the field. Give me the grace to be alert and aware of my surroundings so that I can avoid any injury or accidents. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Another thing to keep in mind regarding injuries or accidents that may happen during a football game is that sometimes such harm can be caused by players who play “dirty”. Unfortunately, some players are willing to resort to dirty tactics just to win, even if it may cause harm to others. With that in mind, you can also pray for your opponent to play with honesty and integrity. Here is how you can pray in this manner:
Heavenly Father, I pray for my opponents, that You give them the grace to play with honesty and integrity. I pray that they do not use dirty tactics, but instead, they shall play fair and square. I pray that You give them the grace not to be so concerned with winning that they end up playing dirty and without regard to whether they end up causing injuries or accidents to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Another important thing that you can pray about before a football game is to remind yourself why you are playing. As Christians, we do everything for the glory of God. We play heartily not for men, but for God.
Father in heaven, as I am about to compete in this game, remind me, Father, that I am competing not for men, nor myself, but for You alone. In everything I do on the field, let it be done for Your glory, not mine. May my eyes be fixed on You alone as I go out there and play. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
What do you say when you pray?
When it comes to praying regarding being a football player, praying before a football game is not the only time you can offer a prayer. Every time you do something as a football player, you should always pray to God. As Christians, we rely on God for everything. That means you should also pray to God during practice. These are also opportunities where injuries or accidents may happen. That is something you can pray to God for. Another thing you can pray for is for you and your team to have fruitful training as you prepare for whatever upcoming game or tournament you may have. Here is how you can pray for your training:
Heavenly Father, I pray that my team and I will have a fruitful and productive practice. I pray that we will meet our goals for training. I also pray that no injuries or accidents shall occur for the duration of our training. All these things are all only possible by Your grace, Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
You can also pray for your coach and quarterback. Praying for your coach does not necessarily have to happen before the game or training. You can also pray for your quarterback, since they are the ones who coordinate your team’s play during the game. You can pray for them whenever you like. You can pray for God’s grace that they may have the wisdom they need as they lead your team.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You will be gracious towards our coach and quarterback as they lead our team. Give our coach the grace to lead and manage our team excellently. I also pray that You are gracious to our quarterback and give him wisdom as he comes up with our plays during the game. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
As a Christian, you must remember that you are to be the salt and light for the football team that you are playing. Being the salt and the light means preaching the Gospel to the lost. If someone is not in Christ, what God has for him is wrath because of their sin. Whatever good they have in their lives, such as not getting injured during a football game, is because of God’s common grace for sinners. That is why more than praying for their safety from injury and grace to excel, what you should pray for is their salvation. It’s hard to only pray that God will give them the grace to do well in a football game, knowing that what God has for them is wrath because of their sin. Indeed, you can still pray for their safety, because God shows common grace, but that is not the top priority prayer you should be offering. The grace that Christians receive is different from the common grace that God shows to the world, where the sun rises to both the righteous and the wicked. Remembering the difference between being in Christ and not being in Christ is essential. In other words, preaching Christ is still the number one priority, no matter how you spend your time.
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You will give me the grace I need as I become the salt and light towards the football team I am playing with. Give me the grace that even the way I live my life shall be a testament to who Christ is. Empower me, Holy Spirit, and give me the boldness and courage to preach the Gospel to them. I pray that You will open the spiritual eyes of my teammates and coaches so that they may see their need for Christ and repent. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
What does the Bible say about athletes?
While there are no specific Bible verses about athletes, there are Bible verses that athletes can meditate on. Some of these are from 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:23-24:
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
These verses remind us that it is never about us, but about God, when we play football. Sometimes, football can cause a person to be consumed by worldliness, especially if he is a good player who has gained a lot of fame. If a player is playing professionally, he can also be consumed by money, given that they could be earning quite a bit! As a Christian, everything you do is never about yourself, but about God. Your goal is not to make yourself famous, but to make Christ famous. Also, if you’re a Christian, then you should not be consumed by the pleasures of this world like fame and money. If you are an outstanding football player and end up being known by people because of your talent, and are contracted to a team with a big salary, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you have to be careful not to be consumed by it.
1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In the end, remember that your primary purpose on Earth as a Christian is not to become famous or rich, but to be the salt and light to the world and witness Christ to those who don’t know Him. We are ambassadors of Christ and ministers of reconciliation, meaning that we preach Christ, through whom people can be reconciled. Being a football player is just another avenue for you to do those things.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
As a football player, more than preaching the Gospel, it is also essential that Christ can be seen through the life that you live. That means living a pure and holy life. It should also be evident in the way you play by being honest and always upholding integrity, humility, and sportsmanship. It is impossible to witness Christ to your fellow football players if the life that you live is no different than theirs.