Scriptures during Times of Challenge & Struggle

Inspired by recent ski races, upcoming Olympic games, and today’s Superbowl Sunday, we discussed how we might pray during competitions or periods of conflict, stress, and struggle. We discussed forms of prayer or reflection that might center us at these times:

  1. For Preparation (becoming focused and ready to engage in the experience)
  2. For Support (intercession for comfort, strength, gifts and resources to go through the game, the contest, the stressful or conflicted situation)
  3. For Others (teammates, competitors/opponents, allies/friends, families/fans, coaches/teachers/mentors, colleages, etc)
  4. For Gratitude (thankfulness in the midst of challenge)

People sat at tables during brunch church, picked a scripture from among the collection of Bible passages in baskets at the table, and discussed their selected passage’s potential as a resource for prayer or reflection. People discussed how they might categorize the text among the four possible prayer opportunities above (prayers for preparation, for support, for others, for gratitude).

Here are the scriptures below. They were selected based on themes of athletes and contests, strength or vigor, images of body, gifts and blessings, victory and triumph, weakness or loss, and other such key ideas that might intersect with times of competition and challenge, conflict and struggle.

Is there one that resonates for you?

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Reflection on themes of game and challenge: inspired by Superbowl Sunday

Inspired by a collection of scriptures on triumph and defeat, athletic strength and resilience, running the race, being present to the challenges of life and faith.

Classic poets’ commentaries on challenges, in honor of the Superbowl.
Excerpted from an article by Barbara Mossberg, HuffPost.

A moody child and wildly wise
Pursued the game with joyful eyes
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet

One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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