Written by Gary Steffes
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
The strongest men are not those who boast in their own strength and make it through life without a sign of weakness. The strongest men are those who recognize their weakness and humbly bow their knee to the One who is stronger than all. In that place, the Lord becomes their Source of strength, not their own power.
As competitors for Christ, dependence on the Lord is essential to be victorious athletes. The bombardment of fears, doubts, lies, worldly distractions, inner wrestles like jealousy, envy, and pride, and the reality of a spiritual enemy seeking to discourage and destroy us is a constant fight. Yet, God does not leave us unprepared, or inadequate in the fight. "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us" (Rom. 8:37). The Lord is the victorious Warrior who makes every man that calls on Him with a complete heart victorious themselves (Zep. 3:17, 2 Chron. 16:9). He is the Strength that empowers us to overcome. We must bow our knee in dependence on Him, or we will get crushed.
Below is a great warrior's prayer to prepare us for competition. It is the format of prayer I personally pray before just about every game.
Father Almighty, I praise and thank you for the privilege to play this incredible game today. Thank you so much for this incredible gift. I am honored and so blessed at the opportunity to compete and play for You. Because of You, I have this privilege. By Your grace, I am able to compete today. Thank You so much Lord for blessing me in this way.
Lord, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, God the Son Himself, who literally took on flesh, dwelt among us, lived a perfect, sinless life, and chose to willingly give His life on that cross as the substitute for all of us. He was nailed to that cross. His was blood was shed. Literally that blood dripped off Him and was pooled together and handed up to the Father as a payment for the sin of the entire world. Jesus died, was buried, and on the third day He rose from the grave conquering Satan, sin, death, and the grave. Now, anyone who calls on Him, confessing with their mouth Jesus as Lord and believing in their heart He was raised from the grave will be saved. Lord, by Your grace You saved me. You opened my eyes to see Jesus, the Son of God in my place for my sin. You revealed to me Jesus is the Savior of the world and that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. You granted me faith to believe in Him and grace to repent Lord. You chose me, blessed me, and have drawn me close to You again. By grace, I have been reconciled to you. I am deeply loved.
Lord, You have given me a new identity. You cast my sin as far as the east is from the west the moment I believed in Christ. I am completely forgiven and washed clean. You took my heart of stone and made it a heart of flesh. My old heart and life is gone. I am a new creation in Christ. I have been justified by grace. I have perfect standing with You now. He Who knew no sin became sin for my sake that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. I am clothed in righteousness. I am righteous. I am totally accepted. I have been filled with Your Holy Spirit. I am a temple of the living God. Sin no longer has power over me. I am victorious in Christ.
Lord, You have given me a new purpose. Hockey is not my identity; it is my tool Lord to impact lives for Jesus Christ. Hockey is the avenue in which I get to build relationships, impact lives, and reach people for Jesus Christ. I am a citizen of heaven, a witness, an ambassador for Christ. You say Lord, "Go into this world and make disciples of all nations" and witness to Your incredible excellency. I am Your chosen instrument, fearfully and wonderfully made for this incredible work. With that, I get the privilege to honor You by cultivating and developing these gifts You have given me to the highest standard I possibly can, with absolute excellence, by being the best I can to be the best I can possibly be in everything today. Father, I give You willing hands. O make me bold, able, and lead my steps!
Lord, please empower me to wield Your sword well as a warrior for You. Whatever comes my way today, please make me strong to overcome. Spiritually, mentally, physically I declare my dependence upon You.
Spiritually, God please give me power and victory to trust You, to not chase the things of this world, to know my identity is in You (not what others say about me or in my performance), to overcome every arrow of fear, jealousy, anger, pride, and all other workings of the flesh, and to have a pure heart in everything I pursue today. Lord, empower me please to be Spirit-led, not emotion driven.
Mentally, God please give me power and victory to be alert, focused, thinking the game fast, and making great decisions all over the ice. I yearn to be excellent and use my gifts well.
Physically, God please give me power and victory to be strong, enduring, the best I can possibly be.
Lord, give me power and victory to reach this hockey world for Jesus Christ
Lord, give me power and victory to reach this team for Jesus Christ
Lord, give me power and victory to live from my true identity, for Your purpose, and to honor You fully
Lord, give me power and victory to be a victorious warrior this very day!!
In Jesus Name!
- Is prayer an essential element of your preparation to compete? If not, why not? Why should it be?
- Why is it so important to know and believe your identity and purpose in Christ?
- Does praying before competition guarantee success? What does it guarantee?
- What is true success in competition? Why are we playing this game? Contemplate what we are asking God for in this prayer.
- James 5:16
- James 4:6-7, 10
- Philippians 4:6-7
- 1 Thess. 5:17
- 1 Peter 2:9-10
- Acts 20:24
- Deut. 8:18
*Click here to download this prayer as a PDF!
About the Author
Gary Steffes is an American professional ice hockey player. He is currently playing with the Allen Americans of the ECHL. Gary serves with FCA Hockey as a national representative.
Posted on Tue, February 16, 2016
by Rick Randazzo filed under