'Risky Prayer' Taking Over the Sports World?

“Risky Prayer” is making its way back into the sports world.

Dan Britton, Executive Vice President of Ministry Programs for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, described the meaning of “risky prayer.”

“Risky prayer is when you start with prayer, not end with prayer,” wrote Britton, in his piece about risky prayer unleashing God’s power and glory . “Praying instead of protesting. Bending a knee, not raising a fist. It is joining with the competition in holy prayer before sweating.”

The FCA executive recalled a time when risky prayer was prevalent in sports. He spoke about a 1986 football game between Okahoma and Nebraska where emotions were high when players from both were expected to protest being exploited.

Instead, players from both teams joined together in the middle of the field before the game to pray in front of 74,000 fans.

“The act of kneeling was not a prideful statement to impress people; rather a humble act to show people who they played for,” Britton said. “They had a higher calling-they played for the Audience of One. This simple act of prayer and courage let people know that they were only controlled by the One who created them.”

Although prayer has become common place after games, the FCA executive questioned why more people did not participate in risky prayer before games. However, some schools have turned to risky prayer in the midst of adversity.

With a scandal surrounding Penn State University’s athletic program in the form of a molestation case, the football team joined with the University of Nebraska for prayer before their game in November.

Although many athletes have used their stadium fields to pray, some non-athletes have recently decided to follow suit. Over 100 women in Liberia gathered in a soccer field with a crucifix to pray for peaceful elections in October.

Britton maintained that risky prayer has little to do with the location, but more to do with impact.

“Risky prayer is not only where we pray, but what we pray,” Britton said. “Praying in such a way that if the prayers were answered, the world changes.”