Two Different Prayers

Two Different Prayers

Prayer is one of the most powerful forces that God offers to us to practice. Too many of us ignore it or seldom use it. There are two different examples of people praying in New York City in the news on September 11, 2023.

One occurred on Sunday afternoon when a young teenage girl, Coco Gauff, upset the number one women’s tennis player in the world to win the U.S. Open in New York City. When she completed that match, she immediately prayed. Then she went to her chair and knelt in front of thousands of people watching live and on television and prayed.

Some of the commentators have tried to say that she wasn’t really praying, she was just exhausted. That’s not what Coco said. In her interview with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on their morning television show, she said she prayed.

They inquired about the content of the prayer. She said she wanted to express her thanks because of all the tough times that she had been through. She then acknowledged that it was because of the tough times that made this moment even sweeter. It was the adversity that she had successfully navigated that gave her the discipline to win this match.

She lost the first set. It looked like it was over and the number one player, Aryna Sabalenka, was on her way to another world title. Much to the delight of the crowd, Coco came back and won the last two sets. She is just a teenager—but she is now a grand slam winner, an outspoken Christian, and one who wanted to give thanks to the One who made this possible.

In the final point that was won by Coco, her parents were ecstatic. Her mother was jumping and shouting and cheering. When Coco was asked about her parent’s reaction she said, “Mom looked to me like she caught the Holy Ghost.”

A good time to pray is when you accomplish something. Prayer is not intended to be a desperation lifeline when we feel like we are going under, but rather a strong support that leads us to acknowledge how good God is.

Another kind of prayer was remembered on September 11 in New York City.

September 11, 2001, is just remembered by the number 9/11. Twenty-two years ago on 9/11, Congress was debating on whether to allow prayer in public places. After what happened at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania, our Congressmen went to the steps of the Capitol, joined hands, and started to pray.

Why do we have to wait until we are on our backs before we look up? I thought and hoped that what happened twenty-two years ago would be a catalyst for constant prayer and unity in our nation. That doesn’t seem to have happened.

Two different kinds of praying—one, a young teenager who just won the biggest tennis match of her career and immediately offered a prayer of thanksgiving—the other, a nation that had been attacked by terrorists and out of desperation began praying. Praying in time of trouble is fine, but more often we ought to be praying every day out of thanksgiving.

Let us pray!

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