No. 1025



As I look back over the years, one of the greatest blessings of my life was the time in the 1970s when I was working as a businessman consultant with our nation’s schools, primarily in my home state of Arkansas. As a motivational speaker they would invite me to speak to pre-school workshops, commencement exercises, student bodies and various workshops and conferences. One time I counted up and found that I had spoken to more than 500 school faculties. Now, I don’t say that to boast but rather to the glory of God.
I realized back then, and even more so now, that the greatest resource we have in our nation is our young people. I was born and reared before the technological revolution came along, so I don’t see the full range of potential and opportunities they have waiting on them to finish their education, whether it be college, professional or trade school. There is one area of education, however, that sometimes we overlook that will determine whether or not they will be successful as a human being.
By nature, young people are very impressionable and often develop a passion for movie stars, singers, rock bands, athletes in various sports, and many others. It should be easy to see that if they don’t follow the right people or groups, they could wind up in places they don’t want to be. Recently, I have become involved with an organization that can be very helpful for young people involved in athletics to build a solid foundation that produces the kind of character that will sustain them through the good times and the bad times.
My reference is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, based in Kansas City, Mo. To illustrate what I am saying, a friend who attended the NCAA Basketball Championship Final Four in Indianapolis brought me a copy of the prayer that was given at the Coaches Luncheon. For the sake of our precious young people, I would like to share it with you. It begins: “Dear Lord – my prayer for athletes and coaches is that they will compete for you alone. I cry out and lift my voice so that in every victory and every loss they will glorify you and stand for the cross. May their love for the game be evidence of their love for you. When they put on their uniform, lace up their shoes and walk out of the locker room, I pray they will declare their loyalty to Jesus Christ alone.
“I ask, Heavenly Father, that their drive come from the Holy Spirit, not from their flesh. Through their pain, may they never give in or give up. May their passion for competition come from above. May they know that the champion inside them is Jesus. Let their only goal be to glorify the name of Christ, and that how they compete honors you Lord. May athletes and coaches feel your delight when they compete. Let them realize that their abilities are from you, Jesus. May their sweat be an offering to their sweet Savior. Allow their hearts to yearn for your applause. May they be under your authority – respecting and honoring their teammates, coaches and opponents. May they play by all the rules and submit to you as their ultimate coach.
“Lord, they are your warriors in the heat of battle, humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Reveal to them the needs of their team so they can serve them well. May their words inspire and motivate, uttering what you desire. May their bodies be your temple. Let nothing enter their bodies that is not honoring to you. Winning is not the ultimate victory, but to become more like you. There is nothing greater. In the name of Christ, I pray. – Amen.”
Now, I believe you will agree that a young person with these values will be successful.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)