Relating Prayer to a Sport – Part 1
The Sport of Prayer – Part 2.1
You see, for some odd reason, Christians think that once they’ve become a Christian that’s it. This however is “next-level prayer.” Like in sports the players are required to utilize their skills. In order to go to the next-level in prayer, one must continually sharpen her or his skills. It’s my belief that we leave a lot on the table as it relates to prayer. If the truth is spoken, most people have very little knowledge and understanding on the subject of prayer. For this lesson, we will talk about the skill requirements. In other words, does prayer require skills?
Does prayer require skills?
While the prayer that we normally think of requires little to no skills, taking prayer to the next level will require more. I don’t have time to get into what is required as I examine scripture, but what we can assess is that it will take more than what we’ve currently been giving. You’ve heard it said often that we should go all in. Go all in means to place more into something than what we’ve been placing into it. What would be required of you to go all in as it relates to prayer? It would require more. M O R E!
In order to get better at any sport, you need to know how to use and improve upon the talent you currently have. I like to say it this way. You need to know your gift, what you’re good at, so that you can use that gift, that skill, that talent in prayer and everywhere. I often say to members of my team that we’re going to use your gift to pray better.
You see, on a football team there are times you have a strong quarterback or a dynamic running-back. Regardless of which you have, the team begins to form or perform around this talent in order to be successful. I heard it said of a commentator that the quarterback needs to find a way to get the ball into the hands of its best player if they are going to win the game. In the same way, I want each person who considers themselves a pray-er (person who prays) to be that strong player when it comes to his/her unique gift. Each of us has a gift that makes us unlike anyone else. 
Does prayer require skills? Yes, it requires your unique skills. You are important to the team in the same way any body part is important to the body. In fact, we underestimate how much we’re needed to do the part that we can do. We are unable to work together if we’re not working our part. 
A Few of the Skills I’ve Encountered
Allow me to share a few examples of gifts I’ve found on the team in which I serve. Keep in mind that the Bible has a general listing of the skills that one can have , but I want to take that thought to the next-level so that you too can get to the next-level of prayer.
I’ve asked God to help me see the gifts in every person I encounter. You see it is easy for us to see the “what-I-don’t-like” about a person, but what would happen if you decided to seek out what you can like about a person? What you’ll see is that person’s God-given gift. Allow me to name a few:
- Starting with me. They call me coach because I have a gift to inspire others’ passion and excitement about prayer. Thanks to my wife who recognized this gift and encouraged me to use it. When I pray, I pray from the gift of coaching people up to the next-level.
- There is a member of our team who has a gift of compassion. Each of her prayers are filled with compassion for others. It comes out every time she prays.
- There is one member who’s prayers make God smile. If you hear this person pray, you’ll feel the joy she has when speaking to God. Every time she prays she inspires those who hear it of the joy she has when speaking to God.
- There are a couple members of our team who have a mothering spirit. They are gifted at being a mother in prayer. They have patience and understanding when it comes to praying and pray like a mother would for whomever they pray for.
- There is a member of the team who has a gift to preach when he prays. I remember when I discovered this gift, so I asked him to always pray from his gift. He prays like a pastor would for the church.
- There is a member of the team who is a theologian. That’s his gift. He knows more Hebrew and Greek than the best ministers. He uses this gift when he prays to express the meaning of scripture in the purest form.
- There is another member of the team who has the gift of knowing scripture and how to use scripture in real life situations. This person has a scripture on recall for every moment and situation. We can count on this mother to use her gift in her prayers every time she prays.
I could go on and on and on, but hopefully you are getting it. Notice the words that I’ve highlighted above, they give you a picture of the various gifts that help to make prayer dynamic and enjoyable for those who wish to take part in the sport of prayer.
Allow me to be very clear. God has given them their gifts and God has given you your gifts. It’s your job to use them to change your world. Use your gift when you pray because it’s the best way to honor God with your life. While prayer doesn’t require skills, if you want to take your prayer to the next-level it will take more than the lack of skills you have been given to it. Therefore, if you want to go to the next-level, it will require you to use what you have to get to the next-level.
Question: what skill do you have that you can use to take your prayer to the next-level?
Reference #1: 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT, Bible.com, accessed January 19, 2021, https://bible.com/bible/116/1co.12.7.NLT
Reference #2: 1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT, Bible.com, accessed January 19, 2021, https://bible.com/bible/116/1co.12.27.NLT
Reference #3: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NLT, Bible.com, accessed January 19, 2021, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/1CO.12.7-11.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.