Footballs & Prayer


I know almost nothing about footballs, but I do know a fair amount about prayer and have a long history of crying out to the Lord for one thing or another. So what do footballs have to do with prayer anyway? Why the title for this message? Please hear me out.

If I understand correctly, in the game of football, one player does a handoff of the football to another player. The player doing the handoff is to turn the football over to the other player. He is not supposed to hold onto it. He is to let it go so the other player can take over.

The connection to prayer? I have had a bad habit over the years of praying to God about something but holding on instead of letting go. Instead of trusting the Lord to answer the prayer according to His will, I hold onto whatever issue it is and worry, fret, obsess, become anxious, and feel like I have to do something about the issue as though God can’t hear me, God doesn’t care, God is too busy, God won’t answer, and the matter will never be addressed unless I deal with it myself.

Instead of doing a handoff to God of the issue when I pray, and thanking Him in advance for however He chooses to answer the prayer, and praying more if and when I’m led, I hold on and refuse to let go. What do you think is at the bottom of this lack of handoff?

I believe it’s that my trust is flawed. My faith is weak and needs strengthening. I get prideful and think I’m supposed to take care of everything when in fact God is sovereign and this world and its issues belong to Him.

Sometimes we learn lessons from other people’s successes. Sometimes we learn from others’ mistakes. My heart with this message is that you will learn from my mistake and join me in learning how to do the perfect handoff. That you and I will grow in our trust in God, increase our faith in Him, and learn to do the perfect prayer handoff. Amen!

Oh, Father, one would think after all the time I’ve been following you, praying to you, reading the Bible, spending time in your presence, etc., that I would have it all together by now. That I would be a lot farther along than I am. But, oh God, I am in such desperate need of more of you, of more of your Spirit, more of your Word, greater faith, deeper trust, more of your love, mercy, grace, peace, joy, hope, and forgiveness, more patience from you, and more help in growing in your ways. Oh, God, surely I am not alone in this. Surely there are others like I am in desperate need of more of you and more growth. Dear God, help me to learn how to pray in a manner pleasing to you. Help us all to pray according to your will. Help us to do the perfect handoff. Help us not to doubt when we pray but to trust you instead. Oh, help us all, oh God, AMEN!

Friend, God loves His children more than we can possibly fathom. I can only imagine how it must delight our Father in heaven when we place our trust in Him, when we pray to Him, and when we believe He loves us, cares about us, and will answer our prayers according to His perfect will.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 KJV

“Be careful [anxious in some Bible versions] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

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