“I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.”Psalm 17:6
I like to watch sports, and the start of the new year brings about a plethora of college football. The last bowl game recently came to an end, marking the end of the college bowl season and the only college game left was the national championship. I thought the games were over for the night when I realized there was a marquee NFL matchup slated for the night. I got a little excited as I knew there would be more football to watch as I had missed out on the earlier games. The family wanted to go out to dinner, so I figured I would catch some of the game at the restaurant. I got in the car and received a notification that the game had been suspended due to a player collapsing on the field, but I did not think much of it.
The restaurant was showing the game and I saw players from both teams kneeling and praying. The players were distressed and some of them were crying as they had seen one of their fellow players collapse on the field. The reports came out that CPR was performed on the player to get his heart started again. The day before during our church service, a similar thing happened as a man sitting in the congregation seemed to fall out. Various people got up during the singing as they were part of the medical and security personnel and they rushed over to the man who was having difficulty. They pulled him out of his seat and laid him in the aisle and our pastor asked the congregation to wait in the lobby while they worked on the gentleman and called for emergency personnel.
We promptly exited the building and headed to the lobby and all parishioners had looks of concern on their faces. Various people in the lobby were praying. It was a scary situation, but we knew the power of prayer and the Source of our comfort and help. It is a comforting thing to be able to seek the face of God Almighty and petition Him in any situation, especially one in which the outcome is grim or uncertain. There is something that lies within us that seeks the face of God when things seems hopeless and dire.
I am not sure of the spiritual condition of the players who kneeled on the football field to pray for their fellow player, but I do know that they sought someone greater than themselves. Tim Tebow was once mocked for kneeling on a football field, but no one dared mocked these players as they kneeled in unison, praying. Whether or not they were believers, the players knew they needed the intervention of almighty God. No one spoke ill of prayer and I even saw a sportscaster openly pray on a national sports broadcast. The young man is still in critical condition, and I believe there is something that is inside of us no matter our relationship with God that tells us there is a God and an ultimate Creator. Those of us who are born-again believers know to Whom we pray, but a lost world prays to someone that they would say is a “higher power.”
There are no kind thoughts or well-wishes I could give that could ever take the place of praying to Almighty God. There is no greater comfort than crying out to the One who knows you like no one else. Do you pray in shallow hope that it is going somewhere, or do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know to whom you are praying? God loves to hear from His children and He is acquainted with our sorrows and grief. May we not wait for the emergencies of life to cry out to God, but may we speak to Him always as He is ever present and available. Will you talk to your Father today? Will you share with Him the burdens of your heart? May we come to Him in all things, and may we never be ashamed to pray to Him in any situation and in any place.