A few short hours from now–Americans who care about football and a few who don’t will be at their respective televisions sets praying for an outcome for their team. Whose prayer will God hear? The loyal Colts fans who want their Payton Manning to climb even higher? Or the loyal Saints fans who want to finally bring something wonderful home to their battered New Orleans. Will the prayers of those who want the Saints to win be louder? More effective than those Colt prayers? Or will the fans of Colts who claim the strong Indiana work ethic (and the Maryland former Colt fans from when they were the Baltimore Colts) turn God’s ear and thus shape the game?
I don’t think God cares who wins the game. Even with a team name like the Saints–somehow holier more godly I don’t think that it matters to God. There I said it. And I don’t think all the praying in the world will sway the outcome of the game. And I will tell you I am suspicious of those players who cross themselves after a touchdown, or go down on bended knee. I wonder what they are doing.
If they are giving thanks for the ability to excel then to me that is the appropriate prayer. If they are giving thanks for their teammates and the power of cooperation and teamwork that is an appropriate prayer. Not that God let them make a touchdown because somehow the Colts or the Saints are favored.
And for all the fans who are praying for their team–perhaps we should instead be giving thanks for the time to enjoy an afternoon with family and friends. Perhaps we should be asking for courage to give the victims of Katrina who are still suffering the help they need. Perhaps we should be asking for forgiveness. That in the face of the cruelties of nature –we should not have abandoned them nor should we be indifferent to the suffering of the people of Haiti.
Perhaps that is our prayer on this Super Bowl Sunday.