(Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)
South African Olympic athlete, Oscar Pistorius, currently on trial accused of murdering his girlfriend, has turned to a book about prayer by a New York City megachurch pastor as he prepares to take the stand in his defense.
Pistorius, 27, who maintains that he mistakenly shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013, when he mistook her for an intruder, has repeatedly vomited and sobbed during the trial.
However, it recently came to attention that Pistorius has been reading Breakthrough Prayer: The Power of Connecting with the Heart of God by Jim Cymbala, the senior pastor of the 16,000 person Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.
As court wrapped up on Tuesday, the defendant was spotted reading the book, which discusses the potency of prayer as seen through the lives of the congregation in the aftermath of 9/11. In it, Cymbala also suggests that God does not acknowledge all prayers and "an unforgiving spirit, bitterness, secret, sexual sins can stymie our praying."
Pistorius, a double amputee, who has also been seen reading an unidentified Bible study guide book, described the past weeks in court as a "tough time."
"We've got a lot ahead of us," he said on Tuesday.
Prosecutors have argued that a livid Pistorius chased Steenkamp around the bathroom and after she locked herself inside, shot multiple times through the door.
They also have produced text messages from Steenkamp reading "I'm scared of u sometimes and how you snap at me," an admission that the model sent on Jan. 27, several weeks before her murder. Although prosecutors have conceded that a large majority of messages between the pair were loving and friendly.
Earlier this week, Pistorius began bawling as prosecutors read through other messages, including ones where Steenkamp mentioned that she felt "picked on" and "attacked" by her boyfriend, though she still had feelings for him.
"You are such a special person, you deserve to be looked after," one said.
Pistorius make take the stand as early as Friday, but could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.