Prayer on the football field

I sat in the back of the quiet bus. My teammates’ faces were tensed in concentration, and the faint murmur of music through headphones drifted in the air. Some tried to sleep; others bounced their legs anxiously, looking out the window. A small red box sat in my lap. I shuffled around inside to find five small stones. They were meant to symbolize the qualities and spiritual ideas I’d need to think about before the game. I looked at the words written on each one: strength, protection, confidence, gratitude, love.

A week before, my high school football team had played in the sectional championship for our division. During one play, an opposing player’s face mask caught me on my right shoulder. I felt a shooting pain down my arm, which then lingered in my shoulder. I was playing outside linebacker, a defensive position, and it was the same shoulder I used nearly every play. 

At first I tried just to play through the pain, but then I remembered what I had learned in Christian Science Sunday School. And it had nothing to do with willfully “pushing through” a painful situation. I started to think about how God created me with spiritual qualities like strength, grace, and agility, which I pray about expressing when I play sports. I was made in God’s perfect image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26, 27), and I reflect Him every moment. This meant that I could express joy and play wisely and with integrity. I was able to finish the game, and my team ended up winning by a large margin, earning us our second sectional title in a row. My shoulder still hurt pretty bad after the game, though, and I didn’t practice a couple of days the following week to see if it would get better. There was more prayerful work to be done. 

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Testimony of Healing
Dominion over flu
December 22, 2014

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