Summary: God wants to be sought in every part of your life. If you are a football fan, then this short message, testimonial and prayer guide is your tool to enjoying the Lord's power and guidience as you intercede for your favorite football team.
Title: Intercession for God’s Athletes
Theme: Praying for Your Local Football Team
Series: Living in the Aroma of Prayer
Introduction: Several years ago the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ led me to put together prayer guides for the local church service, the United States of America, and for our children and grandchildren. While prayerfully studying the Word of God the Holy Spirit led me to many passages of Scripture. The first three were: 1.) Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” 2.) Jude 1:20, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” 3.) Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
These three Scriptures were key truths for me in two very tragic times in my walk with the Lord. My faith in prayer was not challenged when my wife, Bonnie was diagnosed with brain cancer (astrocytoma). My faith thus far has not been shaken as I see my boys struggle against the flesh, the temptations of this world and the lies of Satan. My faith in prayer has been shattered on two different occasions, both when spiritual leadership suffered the consequences of failing to seeking the whole counsel of God’s Word.
The great news is during both occasions the Lord restored my intimacy with Him in prayer. The Holy Spirit used the sword of the Spirit, the written Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) to reestablish my faith in Him.
Proposition: I would propose to you that it is possible to pray fervently in the flesh and never get through to God. (The Bible Expository Commentary) It is also possible to pray according to God’s will by the leading of the Holy Spirit and enjoy the powerful ever-loving intervention of God in every part of our lives.
Interrogative Sentence: What is the Biblical formula that we can surrender to that will enable us to come to God the Father under the blood of His Son Jesus Christ and enable us to be led of the Holy Spirit? There is no greater peace than knowing that what you have prayed for is in agreement with God’s will for you and everything you have interceded for.
Transitional Sentence: According to Colossians 4:2, Christians are to “devote [themselves] to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” In writing about putting on the full armor of God the Apostle Paul wrote, “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Ephesians 6:18)
“…On all occasions with all kinds of prayer…” indicates to us the thoroughness and intensity Christians should express as they intercede for others. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary; Matthew Henry Commentary) True prayer is spiritual. It is not true prayer unless the Holy Spirit has filled the spiritual heart and mind with heavenward longings and aspirations, changing our prayers from selfish fleshly desires to petitions that agree with God’s Word. (The Pulpit Commentary; John Wesley Notes) Ordinary habitual prayer intercessors realize the presence of the Lord, enjoy God’s grace and have Holy Spirit guidance. Their prayers are guided by the written Word. (Ephesians 6:17)
Testimonial: For twenty plus years I have enjoyed the pleasure of praying for ministry and creating prayer guides that enable the Body of Christ to grasp the heart of God.
In the fall of 2009 the Lord allowed me to enjoy a sweet fellowship with Him in prayer through intercession for the Norton Blue Jay Football Team. Here are just a few testimonies, things I saw the Lord do as I prayed for the Norton Blue Jays and their coaches (praying from 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. five days weekly for the entire football season).
One: Sitting along the sideline visiting with dads you hear a lot of things that are not worth the hearing. The words of Joe Gibbs come to my mind, “There are people who think they know football, sadly they know very little about football.” There are many things that coaches must face. They must decide which play to call, which players to use and when. They must communicate effectively with fans and parents, and they carry the responsibility of whether or not the team has a winning season. The Holy Spirit led me to James 1:5-8, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”