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Interceeding for the Irrelevant: Sports and Prayer

May 19th, 2007 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Watching tonight's Suns/Spurs contest brought up all kinds of interesting questions in my mind about the efficacy of prayer. The Spurs went up by 20 with about 10 minutes left--I wanted a close game, and the Suns furious rally brought them within five before the Spurs closed it out.

As I watched, I wondered whether it is okay to pray for one team against the other. Like good versus evil. Except not.

And then, at the bottom of this story about the game, I found this gem:

A group of nuns, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, planned to pray for the Spurs in San Antonio ahead of Friday's game. "Does God love the Spurs more than the Suns? No, but we love them more than the Suns," Sister Geri Eveler said in a statement. "The Spurs are our boys!" ...

That's the sort of undying patriotism that I've always imagined God can't help but admire.  And coming from nuns, no less!  I think in a praying contest, they would win.  Oh, and so did the Spurs.
*Addendum: Steve Nash, who keyed the Suns rally, is a man's man. Nothing but pure intensity and drive on the court, and graciousness off of it. Watching him bring the Suns back into the game by the sheer force of his will gave me an immense amount of admiration for him. Watching him say "Congratulations" to the Spurs after the game was over only deepened it.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.