Does Prayer Really Make a Difference?

John CrawfordBy John Crawford

I don't believe that God particularly cares which team wins in a football game. When I was younger, I tried to use this to my advantage. When I prayed about football as a child, which I did because I am from northern Florida and football is a religious experience there, I prayed that both teams would play their best and that major injuries would be avoided. I did this for two reasons: first, because if both teams played their best, then my team would always win (because it was always the best); and second, because God would see how selfless and magnanimous my prayers were and then he would favor my team. Bizarrely, my prayers never seemed to have much of an effect.

I think that the truth is that God doesn't care very much about sports, wars, economic trends, natural disasters, or any event that affects wide swaths of people. Rather, he cares about the ways that individuals interact with those events, whether those events bring us closer to or move us farther away from him. Therefore, while I now think it is a bit silly for people to pray for their team's victory, I do think it is appropriate for that running back to drop to his knees in the end zone, because while God didn't make him get the touchdown, if that touchdown reminds him of God's presence in his life, that is a good thing.

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John Crawford, his beautiful wife, and his two children work and live in Dugway, UT.  He blogs at By Common Consent and Faith-Promoting Rumor.

10/4/2010 4:00:00 AM
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