Saturday, January 21, 2012

COMMENTARY: Football Games Are Not the Proper Venue for Individual Prayer

A writer from Virginia this week wrote a journal article in which he compares Tim Tebow -- the Denver Broncos quarterback who prays on the sidelines at NFL games -- to the way the Pharisees prayed on street corners in order to gain attention.

He writes that "Jesus blasted the Pharisees for making a Hollywood production out of praying," and that Jesus would not approve of Tebow's praying in public.

We agree with this writer's viewpoint.

While Tebow must be commended for praying to God often, we feel that his praying should be a private matter between himself and God. In other words, Tebow should not be praying openly on a football field, where thousands of attendants -- as well as the other football players -- can observe him praying.

Jesus does not need -- nor does He want -- this kind of publicity, because a football game is not a venue designed to promote Christianity. Rather, it is a venue for players to play a game as well as they can -- with the objective of winning it -- and to provide the fans at the game and the television viewers with their playing expertise.

Football games are for the enjoyment and fun of a plethora of people; prayer is for a serious, spiritual, and personal relationship between an individual and God.

For a football player to pray openly at a football game -- before thousands of people -- can be viewed as being demeaning to the sanctity and personal nature of prayer. It can also be considered to be a player's desire to receive attention from thousands of fans.

In the final analysis, Tim Tebow needs to focus on his playing techniques -- and not pray publicly -- during football games, while he may pray as many times as he desires at his home, his church, and other appropriate places for worship.