Jump to content
The Great Escape Online Community

Chiefs vs. Eagles in Super Bowl LVII: Is it OK to pray for your team to win?


Recommended Posts

In a recent survey, 20% of Americans said they are putting a wager on Super Bowl LVII. Researchers are estimating bets by over 50 million people for a total of $16 billion. This is an all-time high, up more than 60% over last year. To say that America is personally "invested" in this game would be an understatement.

In situations like this, I’m often asked a question along these lines: "Pastor, is it OK for me to pray for my team to win the big game?" Even those who aren’t normally very religious may be wondering the same thing this weekend. If you have money riding on this game, suddenly the theology of prayer seems much more relevant to your life! 

So, can we pray to the Almighty about the outcome of a game? The short answer is yes. You can pray for your team to win the Super Bowl, and I will explain why. 


But first I need to offer a few caveats. Prayer is not a magic formula. It doesn’t guarantee your team a win. (Trust me, I live in Dallas and our prayers have not been answered for decades!) Prayer, by its nature, is humbly asking God for something. We never tell Him what to do. Nor does He promise to automatically give us whatever we ask. God is a good Father. He is not a holy vending machine. 

With that said, the reason you can ask for your team to win is because we can pray about anything that is in our hearts. The Bible tells us not to be anxious but "in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6 ESV). Prayer is not a performance before God in which we pretend to be someone else. It’s an honest conversation with God. Author C.S. Lewis put it this way, "We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us." God invites us to be candid and ask Him for what we truly desire.

There’s a classic story that the late pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell from his days in Florida. Someone in his church gave him a large bag of delicious oranges to eat, which he stored in his hall closet. Then one day he noticed a boy climbing over his fence to steal an orange from his back yard. What the boy didn’t know was — those were sour orange trees.

A delicious orange from the closet could have been his, if only he had asked. The Bible does say, "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2 NIV) If there will be any regrets in heaven it will be when we see all of the good gifts that could have been ours if only we had possessed the faith to ask. 

So, if you want the Chiefs to win, you can put that before God. If you want the Eagles to win, you should really rethink your life choices — but you can still ask for that as well! There’s no fooling God or hiding from Him. You can just tell Him how you feel. He already knows. 

There is a larger question, though, about whether God even cares about something like a football game. With earthquakes and wars and pandemics to worry about, does God concern Himself with a game? Again, I think the answer is yes.

We know God is sovereign, which means He "works all things after the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11 NASB). "All things" includes the outcome of football games. We may not know how one team’s win and another’s defeat fits within the plans of God, but we can trust that they do. God’s plan involves the most minute details of life from the outcome of a football game to the timing of a traffic light and a busy intersection. God is not just Lord over some of His creation, but over all of His creation. 

But there’s something else about prayer you should know. The real secret of prayer is not that it changes God, but that, through prayer, God changes us. Day after day, as we lay out our honest requests before Him, He begins to align our will with His.


This is why the Lord’s Prayer includes the request that "your will be done" (Matthew 6:10 NIV). It is what Jesus modeled for us in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, "Not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42 NIV). We should have the boldness to ask for what we desire. But we also need the humility to allow God to change what we desire.

This weekend’s showdown represents the pinnacle of sports, the most-watched event of the year. But even at the very highest levels, fame and success are passing things that will be quickly forgotten. Yes, we should pray for what is in our hearts, as Lewis suggested.

But as God continues to transform our hearts as we grow closer to Him, the things that occupy a place in our hearts will change as well. It’s the people — the ones watching and the ones playing in the game — who are most important to God because they are immortal souls who will live forever.

You can certainly pray for the game’s outcome, but it’s the people next to you on the couch who should matter most to you and be the benefactors of your most serious prayers — because they are what matter most to God.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using The Great Escaped Online Community, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use