Prayer for Sean Taylor and Family After His Passing

Heavenly Father, Comforter and Protector, I come asking You to watch over Sean Taylor. Please take the soul of this young man into Your arms, comfort him and welcome him home, into Your eternal kingdom.

Lord, I ask that You touch his family, friends and fans. Grant them the graces necessary to shoulder this cross. Although it appears to be the darkest of times, let them realize Your Light of Love shines upon them and that Your children grieve with them and pray for them.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Following is the post from the evening of November 26, 2007, as we all prayed and waited for God’s will.

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope

~~ Romans 15:13

Dear Heavenly Father, full of grace and love, I come to ask your comfort for Sean Taylor and his family of relatives, friends and fans.

Thank You Father for your mercy and healing power. If it is your will, heal our brother, bless his soul and lead him to be the person that you have made him to be.

Thank You Father, that through Your Son Jesus there is a place prepared for all of Your children. If it is Your will to bring our brother home, take away the fear in his heart; let him find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over death.

The family, friends and fans of Sean are of heavy hearts because of the tragedy that has befell Sean.

Thank You Father, that because of Jesus, You know our pain and sorrow intimately, as well as the path through this dark shadow. May we lay our fears at your feet. As it says in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Thank you Father, for the comfort found in Your presence. Send us Your peace Lord; the peace that passes all understanding. Don’t let us waiver and doubt. As we wait and watch, lead us to do so in faith. Comfort us as our grief seems to overpower us. You are a good, just and loving Father, don’t let us grow bitter in this shadow of death.

Thank You Father for Your righteousness. We trust that You will do what is right; what is loving. Whether in death or in life Your will is accomplished and You are sovereign. May we know Your presence, Lord. Keep us ever aware of Your loving hand guiding us through all things.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen.

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Prayer for Sean Taylor and Family

seantaylor.jpg

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope

~~ Romans 15:13

Dear Heavenly Father, full of grace and love, I come to ask your comfort for Sean Taylor and his family of relatives, friends and fans.

Thank You Father for your mercy and healing power. If it is your will, heal our brother, bless his soul and lead him to be the person that you have made him to be.

Thank You Father, that through Your Son Jesus there is a place prepared for all of Your children. If it is Your will to bring our brother home, take away the fear in his heart; let him find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over death.

The family, friends and fans of Sean are of heavy hearts because of the tragedy that has befell Sean.

Thank You Father, that because of Jesus, You know our pain and sorrow intimately, as well as the path through this dark shadow. May we lay our fears at your feet. As it says in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Thank you Father, for the comfort found in Your presence. Send us Your peace Lord; the peace that passes all understanding. Don’t let us waiver and doubt. As we wait and watch, lead us to do so in faith. Comfort us as our grief seems to overpower us. You are a good, just and loving Father, don’t let us grow bitter in this shadow of death.

Thank You Father for Your righteousness. We trust that You will do what is right; what is loving. Whether in death or in life Your will is accomplished and You are sovereign. May we know Your presence, Lord. Keep us ever aware of Your loving hand guiding us through all things.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen.

Professional Misconduct: The Boorish Behavior of Pro Athletes

Professional athletes are paid millions to play games. Why are they such beacons of boorish behavior?

Disrespect, insubordination and misogyny are the norm, with the sports pages filled with tales of drugs, gun fights, rapes, dog fighting, and all manner of crime.

I extolled the virtues of Stephan Marbury and his $14.95 basketball shoe to my youth basketball team, only to have Mr. Marbury brag of his limousine “sexcapades” (during Isiah Thomas’ sexual harassment trial) and walk out on his team before a game this week.

Sharon Stoll, a professor at the University of Idaho, has spent her career studying the values and morals of elite athletes, and concluded that a great many jocks are deficient in moral reasoning, which governs honesty, fairness and responsibility.

“In sport we have moved away from honorable behavior,” Stoll contends, with more emphasis on winning at all costs and material rewards.

Stoll operates the Center for Ethical Theory and Honor in Competitive Sports, and adds that, “The environment of athletics has not been supportive of teaching and modeling moral knowing, moral valuing, and moral action,”

The main goal, in her work with college and professional teams, is to get athletes to consider two questions: Is it honorable? Is it responsible? “If you can’t answer yes to both questions, you better turn and go in another direction,” Stoll says.

Isn’t that, or shouldn’t that be, normal, human behavior? I know I am not the only parent who repeated that mantra, or some variation, to their children.

I notice a large number of athlete’s pointing to the sky after a great play or thanking God for a good win. While an acknowledgement of the Father in their words is welcome, it would also be nice to see more of a Christian walk in their deeds.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
~~ Luke 12:48 (The Message)

 

O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.

Be with, and in, the athletes we so admire.

 

Grant them an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant them inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free them from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.
Fill their hearts with divine virtues.

 

Let them behold Thee.
Let them serve Thee.
Let them ever remember Thee.
Let Thy Name be ever on their lips.
Let them abide in Thee for ever and ever.

 

I ask these things in the Holy Name of Jesus,

 

Amen.

~ Adapted from the Universal Prayer (Sri Swami Sivananda)

Sweet Science Or Carnal Cruelty?

I have been a fan of boxing for as long as I can remember. I think there is nothing more basic in sport then the idea of two people, evenly matched, with nothing but their will and desire, going face to face to determine who is better. I also treasure the time my grandfather spent with me watching the best matches of the 60’s and 70’s.

That being said, I am finding it more and more difficult to watch professional boxing. It makes me a little queasy, giving me that “something’s not right” feeling.

Professional boxers pound each other resulting in bloody faces, bruised bodies, and damaged vital organs. The long-term ill effects on their central nervous systems has been medically documented and proven — post concussion syndrome is a common thing when the goal is to concuss the opponent into submission.

According to the Journal of Combative Sport, 1,465 boxers have died in the ring — including Duk Koo Kim, whom I watched receive a relentless beating at the hands of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini in 1982.

As a follower of the Prince of Peace, should I be tolerating, let alone cheering on, this needless cruelty?

That feeling in my stomach is telling me NO. I am not alone in this feeling: a leading Roman Catholic magazine has denounced boxing, calling the sport merciless, inhuman and in violation of church teachings.

Heavenly Father, God of peace,
Look with kindness upon your servant.
Abolish from my heart and mind,
Acts of violence and cruelty.

Instruct my mind and teach my heart anew,
Make me an instrument of your purpose.
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light and
where there is sadness, joy.

I ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for Young Athletes

Heavenly Father, be with my young athletes as they test their physical skills.

Let them play well, but fairly.
Let competition make them strong, but never hostile.

Grant them the strength to best their opponent, and lead them to always help the opponent up.
Grant them moments to rejoice, but not in the adversity of others.

Help them stay safe from injury, both physical and emotional.
Help them to learn something that matters once the game is over.
Help them remember that sports are just games.

If they know victory, allow them to be happy.
If they are denied, keep them from envy.
If through athletics, they set an example, let it be a good one.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus

Amen.

The Coach’s Prayer

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Heavenly Father guide me
As I try to coach this team
To build each other’s character
And boost their self-esteem.

May I keep an even temper
And remember it’s a game.
Let me not have favorite players
But treat them all the same

Grant me patient wisdom
As I praise them or correct
Remembering that I must work
To earn each one’s respect.

Lord, whether we may win or lose,
May all who are watching see
The kind of coach at every game
That you would like me to be.

Amen.