Being the best person you can be does not go without its setbacks. These inspirational prayers and bible verses for athletes serve as the perfect source of inspiration to the types of things you can speak to the Lord about.
Prayer before Tough Game
Heavenly Father, you promised that you would not abandon me. I have a really tough game today, and I am nervous. Our opponents are very good, and we need to win this game. Help the team work well and communicate with each other. Help us hit our mark and not make mistakes. Calm or minds so we can think clearly and play our best. Amen.
Prayer for Before Any Game
God our Father, help us to put forth our best effort, to represent our school with class, to respect our opponents, and to grow as disciples of your Son, Jesus. Keep us safe from injury and harm. Help us to conduct ourselves as you would, with grace and kindness. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for Help through Injury
Dear God, thank you for giving me life and my athletic abilities. Help me to play well, to use my talents to the fullest. Help me to use them as gifts from you. Be with me when I need to play hurt, when I have to deal with the pain of injury, disappointment or losing. Most of all, help me never to quit in my efforts to be open to you. For I believe your full coming into my life is the way to real life, in all I do. I believe it is the way of my becoming the truly human person you destined me to be. Amen.
Prayer for the Crowd
Sweet and loving Lord, I am on my knees before you today, asking for your protection over everyone that comes to see my game. Please keep them all safe on their way to my game, during my game, and on their way home from the game. Keep them from injury, sickness, or harm of any kind. In your name, I pray. Amen.
Prayer for Sportsmanship Conduct
All-powerful Lord, help me to play the game with all my energy and strength. Help me keep my sense of humor during the stress of the game, and the grace to follow the rules. Settle my temper so that I treat everyone with courtesy. Fill me with endurance to keep going with all my energy all the way to the end of the game. Amen.
Prayer of Thanks for Great Talent
Lord, my Savior, it is you who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. You make my feet like the feet of a deer. You enable me to stand on heights. You train my hands for battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me. You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Thank you for all you have given me. Amen.
Prayer for Training
All-knowing Savior, the training and rigor is not fun. It is tough and I am not enjoying it. Help me heart to fully realize that the training will yield bountiful fruit. Strengthen my weak hands and feeble knees. Make my path straight and give me the perseverance and grace to complete my training with all my effort and with a good attitude. Amen.
Prayer for Competition
God, let me play well, but fairly. Let the competition make me strong, but never hostile. Forbid me from rejoicing in the adversity of others. See me not when I am cheered, but when I bend to help my opponent up. If I know victory, allow me to be happy. If I lose, keep me from envy. Remind me that sports are just games. Help me to learn something that matters once the game is over. And most of all, help me to be a good example to other athletes. Amen.
Prayer for the Team
Dear Lord, you have blessed our team with many gifts and talents. We thank you especially for the ability to participate in sports today together, as a team. Help us all to play in a Christ-like manner. Help us to play in a way that fosters goodwill, teamwork and makes great memories for us to cherish the rest of our lives. Help us to play to the best of our abilities. Win or lose, we hope to have fun, make friends and celebrate life. Amen.
Prayer for Health of Players
Jesus, in our upcoming game, we ask for your protection over all of us, on our team and the opposing team, so that no one is injured during the game. Please wrap us in your wings so that we can all play an enjoyable game that is safe and responsible. Help us to follow the rules and not be tempted to do things that may end up causing harm to others in our effort to win the game. Amen.
Prayer for Referees
Almighty Father, we ask that your wisdom comes over the referees for our game, so that they may have clarity of thought and discernment when making the calls. Please help them to judge wisely and fairly so that we can have a fair game, win or lose. Strengthen their concentration so that they have a laser-like focus all during the game and can see what they need to see. Amen.
Prayer for My Light
Light of the world, my Lord, you truly are the light of the world. Thank you for showing me my ability to play sports. You said that people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl, but instead put it on a stand where it can give light to all who are in the house. You have let me become a light! You have made my light shine before everyone! Thank you for what you have done for me. Keep my light strong and bright. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Prayer to Build Each Other Up
Heavenly Father, please bless today’s game, our opponents, our team and all who are watching us play. Thank you for the opportunity to compete and bring out the best in each other. May we play hard and fair. Show us opportunities to build each other up, spiritually, emotionally and physically. We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer of Thanks for the Game
Loving Savior, thank you for the opportunity we have in this nation to compete and use our talents through sports. We know that there are people around that world that cannot compete because of violence, poverty or discrimination. Remind us how blessed we truly are. Put it on our hearts to give our best and treat each other with the utmost respect. We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer to Understand Winning
Dear Jesus, all good athletes are disciplined in their training. Help me heart fully feel your love and the life that you give. Make me understand that the prize of winning the game here on earth will fade away, and that the real prize is eternal. Help me run with purpose in every step. Strengthen my effort and focus when I train for my sport, and for the race I am running for the eternal prize. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Prayer for Exhaustion
Merciful God, you give strength to the weary. To those who lack might, you increase their power. I am exhausted from training and playing hard. I wait for you, Lord, to give me new strength to run and not get tired. Help me train and play but not become weary. Fill my being with your holy power. Amen.
Prayer for Grace
God our Father, you have created us to strive for the best. Grant to all athletes, coaches, and fans, strength to pursue excellence during this event. We pray for the safety of these athletes. Protect them from injury and harm. And finally, we pray for your grace, that you would provide us with the endurance to pursue our heavenly prize: eternal life in Your Son. Amen.
Prayer to Work Hard
Almighty Father, you said that if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Help me to understand and internalize your word, and act according to your will. Amen.
Prayer for Appreciation
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day, for these two teams, for the chance to study, to understand the world around us a little better, for the health to be here, for the thrill of a sporting event and for individuals leaning to play as a team. Grant that we not take days like this for granted. Give us the grace to play our best, to be a good sport, win or lose, and to honor you with our efforts. Amen.
Prayer for Awareness of God’s Presence
Father in Heaven, we ask Your blessing on the game we are about to play. Give each one of us the courage to play the game in a manner, which by our words and our actions, is pleasing to you. Let us enter into the competition in a spirit of sportsmanship and with respect for members of the opposing team. We ask you, Father, to bless each one of us and especially the coaches, officials and players. Keep us under the protection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to be aware of his presence with us in the game. Amen.
Prayer for Courage
Dear Jesus, though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war may rise against me,in this I will be confident. For in the time of trouble, he shall hide me in his pavilion, in the secret place of his tabernacle he shall hide me, he shall set me high upon a rock. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will wait on the Lord and be of good courage. I know you will strengthen my heart. Amen.
Prayer for Jesus to Hear Us
Lord Jesus, you tell us that whenever two or more are gathered in your name, you are present in their midst. And so we are confident that as we lift up our thoughts to you, you are indeed with us. Help all we do with this event to reflect your presence among us and within us. May all our actions give glory to your name and promote peace and love to the world. We pray this in your most holy name. Amen.
Prayer to Show Respect
Protecting God, as we enter into this competition, we pray for our protection and for the protection of those with whom we will compete. Help us to play with all our strength and with the spirit of good sportsmanship. Help us to remember that we are all your children, no matter what uniform we wear. When we look back on this competition, let us see that we committed ourselves fully to the game and emerged with dignity and respect for our competition. Amen
Prayer for Eternal Prize
Powerful Father, you told me that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. You told me to run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last. I do it to get a crown that will last forever. Thank you for giving me your word. Amen.
Prayer for Conduct
Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we thank you for this opportunity to gather together this afternoon/evening in competition. We ask that all of those involved today/tonight may conduct themselves in a God-pleasing manner and show good sportsmanship despite the outcome. Lord, we thank you for the gifts and abilities you have blessed these athletes with, and we pray that they may use them to glorify you. We ask that all involved in today’s/tonight’s game may be kept free from injuries and that you will be with us as we leave this place today/tonight. All this we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer for Goodwill
Lord Jesus, we welcome your presence here among us and In our community of (Insert School/League Name). Today, we gather together to represent our School/Church. Share with us your Spirit of peace and love for one another. Bless us with a team spirit of goodwill, both for ourselves and for the team we face in the game. Help us to be the best we can possibly be, striving to play fairly and to play well. We ask this in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.
The Best Bible Verses for Athletes
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Samuel 12:24
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable for people to seek their own glory.
Check out this great video from Pastor Rick Warren on how to fight discouragement and finish your goals.
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Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.