There's a great theological truth you need to know: When you step on the playing field, God is with you.
There are so many scriptures about God being our present help in a time of trouble (Psalm 46:1), our strength and our shield (Psalm 28:7), our comforter (Isaiah 40:1, Matthew 5:4, Romans 15:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17), the one who prepares our hand for battle (Psalm 144) and the one who will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5,6).
Every game has planned breaks in the action—halftime, quarters, time between periods, races, etc. Many times in these gaps the team talks to one another and receives instruction from the coaching staff. These pauses also contain moments where the Christian athlete can talk to our Lord.
“Lord help me work through this frustration”
“God help me relax and shut out distractions”
“Lord help me calm my butt down”
“Lord give more strength and endurance then I think I have”
“God help me raise my intensity”
“Lord forgive me for that flagrant file or stupid penalty where I lost my head”
Pray for the people around you. Many times during games we can forget that God is at work in the lives of many people. During the gaps in the games, what if you prayed for a struggling friend or someone whose anger is hindering them from their best play? What if we could move away from simply selfish prayers during a game and learned to love God by thinking about other people in the middle of the games? That would be radical, but it would also be retraining our hearts to properly worship in the midst of competition.
This reflection and prayers for during games come from Athletes in Action. www.athletesinaction.org.