Athlete, Help Yourself


Athlete, Help Yourself

Jason Cooper

Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

All hard work brings a profit.

“God, help me squat 300 pounds.”

“God, help us win.”

“God, help me break the school record.” 

When we pray little prayers like that, I wonder if God sometimes thinks, “You get to the weight room and eat better.”

“You help your team win.”

“You train harder.”

God wouldn’t say those things because He’s mean or isn’t willing to help, but because He has already helped you. 

God already provided a weight room and access to nutritional food. He already gave you talent. He provided you with the ability to train hard. 

Now it’s your turn to respond to those gifts. 

It might sound unChristian or like it promotes self-help over divine intervention to emphasize what we can do. 

But God, in His sovereignty, decided to give us power and choices that really do determine what will happen. 

That has huge implications for student athletes, because it’s as if God gave you a small kingdom inside His kingdom where your choices affect outcomes in the classroom, in the dorm room, and on the field. 

So, it’s not so much that you need God to do something for you in a split second when you ask, i.e. God, help me with this test. But that you need to own and exert your God-given volition and resources. 

It’s not so much that you need God to show up this second, i.e. God, help me talk to this girl or God, help me make this shot; but that you need to accept and wield the abilities God has given you. 

God can become a scapegoat for our failures if we’re always thinking He needs to “show up” or “rescue us.” 

It’s true, sometimes we don’t have the resources we need to excel, or even begin. But other times we do have the ability and resources we need to be the answer to our own prayer. We just need to do it.


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