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25 Inspirational Prayers and Bible Verses for Athletes

Being the best person you can be does not go without its setbacks. These inspirational prayers and bible verses for athletes serve as the perfect source of inspiration to the types of things you can speak to the Lord about.

Prayer before Tough Game
Heavenly Father, you promised that you would not abandon me. I have a really tough game today, and I am nervous. Our opponents are very good, and we need to win this game. Help the team work well and communicate with each other. Help us hit our mark and not make mistakes. Calm or minds so we can think clearly and play our best. Amen.

Prayer for Before Any Game
God our Father, help us to put forth our best effort, to represent our school with class, to respect our opponents, and to grow as disciples of your Son, Jesus. Keep us safe from injury and harm. Help us to conduct ourselves as you would, with grace and kindness. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Help through Injury
Dear God, thank you for giving me life and my athletic abilities. Help me to play well, to use my talents to the fullest. Help me to use them as gifts from you. Be with me when I need to play hurt, when I have to deal with the pain of injury, disappointment or losing. Most of all, help me never to quit in my efforts to be open to you. For I believe your full coming into my life is the way to real life, in all I do. I believe it is the way of my becoming the truly human person you destined me to be. Amen.

Prayer for the Crowd
Sweet and loving Lord, I am on my knees before you today, asking for your protection over everyone that comes to see my game. Please keep them all safe on their way to my game, during my game, and on their way home from the game. Keep them from injury, sickness, or harm of any kind. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Sportsmanship Conduct
All-powerful Lord, help me to play the game with all my energy and strength. Help me keep my sense of humor during the stress of the game, and the grace to follow the rules. Settle my temper so that I treat everyone with courtesy. Fill me with endurance to keep going with all my energy all the way to the end of the game. Amen.

Prayer of Thanks for Great Talent
Lord, my Savior, it is you who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. You make my feet like the feet of a deer. You enable me to stand on heights. You train my hands for battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me. You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Thank you for all you have given me. Amen.

Prayer for Training
All-knowing Savior, the training and rigor is not fun. It is tough and I am not enjoying it. Help me heart to fully realize that the training will yield bountiful fruit. Strengthen my weak hands and feeble knees. Make my path straight and give me the perseverance and grace to complete my training with all my effort and with a good attitude. Amen.

Prayer for Competition
God, let me play well, but fairly. Let the competition make me strong, but never hostile. Forbid me from rejoicing in the adversity of others. See me not when I am cheered, but when I bend to help my opponent up. If I know victory, allow me to be happy. If I lose, keep me from envy. Remind me that sports are just games. Help me to learn something that matters once the game is over. And most of all, help me to be a good example to other athletes. Amen.

Prayer for the Team
Dear Lord, you have blessed our team with many gifts and talents. We thank you especially for the ability to participate in sports today together, as a team. Help us all to play in a Christ-like manner. Help us to play in a way that fosters goodwill, teamwork and makes great memories for us to cherish the rest of our lives. Help us to play to the best of our abilities. Win or lose, we hope to have fun, make friends and celebrate life. Amen.

Prayer for Health of Players
Jesus, in our upcoming game, we ask for your protection over all of us, on our team and the opposing team, so that no one is injured during the game. Please wrap us in your wings so that we can all play an enjoyable game that is safe and responsible. Help us to follow the rules and not be tempted to do things that may end up causing harm to others in our effort to win the game. Amen.

Prayer for Referees
Almighty Father, we ask that your wisdom comes over the referees for our game, so that they may have clarity of thought and discernment when making the calls. Please help them to judge wisely and fairly so that we can have a fair game, win or lose. Strengthen their concentration so that they have a laser-like focus all during the game and can see what they need to see. Amen.

Prayer for My Light
Light of the world, my Lord, you truly are the light of the world. Thank you for showing me my ability to play sports. You said that people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl, but instead put it on a stand where it can give light to all who are in the house. You have let me become a light! You have made my light shine before everyone! Thank you for what you have done for me. Keep my light strong and bright. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer to Build Each Other Up
Heavenly Father, please bless today’s game, our opponents, our team and all who are watching us play. Thank you for the opportunity to compete and bring out the best in each other. May we play hard and fair. Show us opportunities to build each other up, spiritually, emotionally and physically. We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer of Thanks for the Game
Loving Savior, thank you for the opportunity we have in this nation to compete and use our talents through sports. We know that there are people around that world that cannot compete because of violence, poverty or discrimination. Remind us how blessed we truly are. Put it on our hearts to give our best and treat each other with the utmost respect. We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer to Understand Winning
Dear Jesus, all good athletes are disciplined in their training. Help me heart fully feel your love and the life that you give. Make me understand that the prize of winning the game here on earth will fade away, and that the real prize is eternal. Help me run with purpose in every step. Strengthen my effort and focus when I train for my sport, and for the race I am running for the eternal prize. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Exhaustion
Merciful God, you give strength to the weary. To those who lack might, you increase their power. I am exhausted from training and playing hard. I wait for you, Lord, to give me new strength to run and not get tired. Help me train and play but not become weary. Fill my being with your holy power. Amen.

Prayer for Grace
God our Father, you have created us to strive for the best. Grant to all athletes, coaches, and fans, strength to pursue excellence during this event. We pray for the safety of these athletes. Protect them from injury and harm. And finally, we pray for your grace, that you would provide us with the endurance to pursue our heavenly prize: eternal life in Your Son. Amen.

Prayer to Work Hard
Almighty Father, you said that if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Help me to understand and internalize your word, and act according to your will. Amen.

Prayer for Appreciation
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day, for these two teams, for the chance to study, to understand the world around us a little better, for the health to be here, for the thrill of a sporting event and for individuals leaning to play as a team. Grant that we not take days like this for granted. Give us the grace to play our best, to be a good sport, win or lose, and to honor you with our efforts. Amen.

Prayer for Awareness of God’s Presence
Father in Heaven, we ask Your blessing on the game we are about to play. Give each one of us the courage to play the game in a manner, which by our words and our actions, is pleasing to you. Let us enter into the competition in a spirit of sportsmanship and with respect for members of the opposing team. We ask you, Father, to bless each one of us and especially the coaches, officials and players. Keep us under the protection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to be aware of his presence with us in the game. Amen.

Prayer for Courage
Dear Jesus, though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war may rise against me,in this I will be confident. For in the time of trouble, he shall hide me in his pavilion, in the secret place of his tabernacle he shall hide me, he shall set me high upon a rock. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will wait on the Lord and be of good courage. I know you will strengthen my heart. Amen.

Prayer for Jesus to Hear Us
Lord Jesus, you tell us that whenever two or more are gathered in your name, you are present in their midst. And so we are confident that as we lift up our thoughts to you, you are indeed with us. Help all we do with this event to reflect your presence among us and within us. May all our actions give glory to your name and promote peace and love to the world. We pray this in your most holy name. Amen.

Prayer to Show Respect
Protecting God, as we enter into this competition, we pray for our protection and for the protection of those with whom we will compete. Help us to play with all our strength and with the spirit of good sportsmanship. Help us to remember that we are all your children, no matter what uniform we wear. When we look back on this competition, let us see that we committed ourselves fully to the game and emerged with dignity and respect for our competition. Amen

Prayer for Eternal Prize
Powerful Father, you told me that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. You told me to run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last. I do it to get a crown that will last forever. Thank you for giving me your word. Amen.

Prayer for Conduct
Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we thank you for this opportunity to gather together this afternoon/evening in competition. We ask that all of those involved today/tonight may conduct themselves in a God-pleasing manner and show good sportsmanship despite the outcome. Lord, we thank you for the gifts and abilities you have blessed these athletes with, and we pray that they may use them to glorify you. We ask that all involved in today’s/tonight’s game may be kept free from injuries and that you will be with us as we leave this place today/tonight. All this we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for Goodwill
Lord Jesus, we welcome your presence here among us and In our community of (Insert School/League Name). Today, we gather together to represent our School/Church. Share with us your Spirit of peace and love for one another. Bless us with a team spirit of goodwill, both for ourselves and for the team we face in the game. Help us to be the best we can possibly be, striving to play fairly and to play well. We ask this in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

The Best Bible Verses for Athletes

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Samuel 12:24
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Psalm 118:13-14
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Proverbs 25:27
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable for people to seek their own glory.

Check out this great video from Pastor Rick Warren on how to fight discouragement and finish your goals.

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25 Inspirational Prayers and Bible Verses for Athletes Being the best person you can be does not go without its setbacks. These inspirational prayers and bible verses for athletes serve as the

How to Pray Before, During, and After Competition

Article

How to Pray Before, During, and After Competition

Understanding what God wants could change your approach to prayer

Reid S. Monaghan

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When Jesus was asked to teach his friends to pray he gave them an example which was passed down to us as “the Lord’s Prayer.”

Some athletes in America recite this prayer before competitions in our day. It is a wonderful prayer to recite but we must not forget that it was also an example of HOW we should pray.

Prayers from God’s people should hold Him up as high and holy and desire for his kingdom to come and His ways to rule on the earth. Christian prayer should express our dependence upon God for all things and the centrality of forgiveness found in the gospel.

Prayers as athletes who follow Jesus should be no different.

Keep Jesus’ words in mind as we reflect on how we should pray:

9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13

I Thessalonians 5:17,18 tells us that part of walking with Jesus is to “pray without ceasing.”

This doesn’t mean that we spend our entire day with hands folded or held up to the heavens saying formal prayers.

It does mean that all of life is spent in the presence of God and in a posture of heart that is prayerful. All of life is in relationship with God for the Christian and this certainly includes the moments before, during and after our games.

So what follows is both practical and provocative. May it give you ideas for your own prayer life and move you towards action.

“Christian prayer should express our dependence upon God for all things and the centrality of forgiveness found in the gospel.”

PRAYERS TO PREPARE: BEFORE COMPETITION

Pregame routines are important psychologically and spiritually for athletes. Doing the same or similar things before matches or games can help calm the mind and focus the athlete’s heart on the task at hand.

Just remember you don’t win or lose because of your lucky socks or your lucky prayers. That would stoop into superstition and silliness (I’ve got my eye on you baseball players!).

But including prayer in our pregame is not difficult. Many times there may be even be opportunities for group prayer among Christians on your team. But let’s focus here on your personal prayer life.

Before competition, the word I want you to have in your mind is prepare.

You are literally preparing to walk with God in the midst of a highly competitive, fast moving and intense environment. In light of that I offer these as a few examples of ways to pray:

“God help me today to honor you and all I do and say in this arena of sports (insert: field, court, mat, pool etc). May my love and worship of You supersede all things in my heart today whether we win, lose or draw.”

“God let the practice of my craft be expressed fully in the game today when I have opportunity. I’ve put in the work. Let my mind to be clear and focused so I can execute to the best of my abilities.”

“Lord, let all glory today be yours and yours alone and let me score, win, lose, etc., in humility and giving all praise to you.”

“God, your Word says that whatever we do to do with all our hearts as unto you. Let me play today in that light as a servant of Christ.”

“Father, remind me that I’m accepted by you fully in Jesus Christ as a daughter or son by faith. Whatever happens today does not change that and I will come off the field as your child. Let this free me from anxiety and fear of failure.”

“Lord, let me hold no grudges against coaches, officials or my competitors today. No matter what they do, no matter how wicked, please allow me to forgive. Let no root of bitterness get stuck in my soul today because of a game.”

“Lord, let me give everything I have today and let me play really well and find joy in you doing something you’ve made me to do. ”

PRAYERS TO COMPETE: DURING COMPETITION

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).

As God goes with us, so we go with God into the athletic arena. You’ll have to take the principle shared now and apply it to your own sports’ unique circumstances and game structures but it is applicable across all sports.

Reset the heart in the pauses

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 the King.

“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.

PRAYERS TO COMPLETE: AFTER COMPETITION

Once the game clock goes to zero, it’s a great time for gratitude.

The I Thessalonians 5 passage tells us to give thanks in all things. As a follower of Jesus, an attitude of gratitude is the right rhythm of heart after games.

We need to develop the life habit of thanking God for everything that He allows into our life and story. This includes the wins as well as the losses.

It includes the touchdown you scored and the time you got burned for a touchdown.

It includes that slower time in the race that devastates you after training so hard for better results.

It includes gratitude for gold medals and if you gave up the winning goal. A few post-game ideas as we close.

Thank God for at least one specific blessing that took place in the competition. If you can think of more than one, recount them all!

Thank God for at least one difficult thing in the game that you really didn’t like and that was really hard for you—as an act of faith. Thank God that even these things are ordered for your growth and good.

Apologize to refs/officials, coaches, teammates or competitors if you were a jerk and lost your head in the game. Christian athletes are not perfect but we should practice repentance and own where we screw up.

If you did well, give glory to Jesus. If you did terrible give your pain to him as well in prayer. Crying out to God and lamenting in these moments is legitimate prayer. Being disappointed and hurting because of the loss is not ungodly—it is quite human.

How we process the post-game is important.

We don’t want to stoop down into the mud of blaming God for defeats or just praising him for victories. The Sovereign Lord is high and holy and can handle your disappointment for sure. Always remember he’s a good father who loves his kids and is making you into a person that reflects His character.

Athletic competition is a very human endeavor. There is training, striving and becoming—both on the field and off. For the Christian athlete prayer is a practice of the presence of God in relationship in the midst of all things.

I pray that you may find him and be found in him before, during, and after you enter your athletic arena. And in all things may Christ be praised!

How to Pray Before, During, and After Competition Article How to Pray Before, During, and After Competition Understanding what God wants could change your approach to prayer Reid S.