Peyton Manning on Jesus

Peyton Manning on Jesus June 22, 2018

This post was first published in 2014.

With all the fervor and bluster that Tim Tebow’s presence has provoked in the world of football because of his alleged Christian witness, a little known fact is that Peyton Manning . . . one of the most talented and beloved figures in contemporary football . . . is a also a devout follower of Jesus Christ.

At age 13, Manning committed his life to Christ Jesus, and according to his own testimony, “that faith has been most important to me ever since.”

According to Manning, his priorities are ranked in this order “faith, family, friends, and football.”

“I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him before I get to Heaven myself. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way,” said Manning.

Here’s another interesting quote by Manning:

“Some players get more vocal about it – the Reggie Whites, for example – and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games . . . I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am.”

Although Manning is a football hero for many, he humbly admits that he’s far from perfect and is “no better than anybody else in God’s sight.”

“I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anybody else in God’s sight.”

Manning does not pray for victory as some might expect. He rather prays for the safety of players on both teams.


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  • Sheila Warner

    I believe it is his strong faith that will see him through the very temporal disappointment of losing the SB, too. After all, it’s only a game.

  • Greg Carlet

    Agreed. 🙂

  • I feel the respect issue is a hard point to pin down. When it comes to football tossing, Tebow wasn’t respected because he looked bad and didn’t hold great statistics (except that he led his team to victories). Conversely, Peyton has some of the best statistics in the game of football.

    Off the field, Tebow is generally resected as an individual. I’ve read and heard from multiple personalities that most people, even non-Christians respect the fact that Tebow stood up for what he believes in.

    When I played sports, I desired to honor God with my actions. I prayed for the saftey of all players (although I more often than not probably did pray for a “W” as well).

    I like Tebow. I have no problem with Manning. I don’t know either of them personally. I do know their image and brand. Whether or not God wants Christians to be publicly vocal is of little concern.

    It all comes down to following God’s leading in our individual lives.

    Both the worship leader of the mega-church and the lead singer of the 90s rock cover band at the local pub can both be Christians, both live upright lives, and both be living with Jesus at an intimate level. Same goes for football players.

    God has some speak from a pulpit to the masses. God has others speak to individuals behind the scenes. Following the Lord, being sensitive to Him, and living authentically within His salvation is what I feel is the larger lesson to learn.

  • Great points, Jason!

  • Jason Guinasso

    I don’t think this is a fair question the way it is presented. Both men exhibit something of the life of Christ in their profession. As far as respect goes, Payton Manning is arguably the best QB to ever play the position. I don’t think he would be less respected if he was more demonstrative about his faith like Tebow. The respect thing was really about their ability to play the position, not their expression of faith. If Tebow could have fixed his throwing mechanics and completed more passes, he would likely still be the Denver QB or a successful QB somewhere else. It is hard to earn respect in football as a QB when you throw balls at a receivers feet. 🙂

    In my opinion, both men are widely respected outside of football because of their character. They are who they say they are as far as I know.

    As a follower of Christ, I suppose the lesson from their lives is to be excellent in my profession and be authentic word and deed.

  • Ah, just as virtually every other question that a mortal can ask. 🙂

    Greg C., thanks again for answering the question. 🙂

  • Your question carries a premise that is debatable.

  • Greg: thanks for answering the question. May your tribe increase!

  • It means that there’s not a consensus among Jesus followers concerning whether or not the visible things Tebow did on the field could be rightly characterized as a “Christian witness” in the biblical sense. To some people, it detracted from the Christian witness. To others, it was wonderful. But that’s not the point of the post.

    The specific question this post is asking is at the end in light blue text.

  • The entire post is about his relationship with Christ and how it effects his prayer life, the game, his priorities, etc. Time for a careful re-read.

  • John

    Where in this article is Peyton Manning “on” Jesus? I must have missed it…

  • itsjenjen

    Tebow’s “alleged” Christian witness? What is that supposed to mean?

  • Matthew 6 wearing pads.

  • janet

    Peyton is a good and humble man. Reggie White; well, he was a disaster. Just Google his antics.

  • Greg Carlet

    A couple of thoughts here…

    Tebow was more apparent with his faith than Manning is (I did not know about Manning’s faith until your post here, where as anyone who has heard about Tebow knows about his faith). Not saying that is good or bad, just a fact. There will always be critics, especially on a national stage like the NFL. But especially since Tebow rose and fell so quickly with his accomplishments, he was a lot easier to criticize. Where as Manning is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, QB who has ever played. He is a lot harder to criticize (although the Super Bowl last night did not go well for him or his team).