I realize that among the “mature”, it’s risky business to say that you prayed for a Tebow victory because of the real likelihood that you will be immediately categorized among the millions of Tebow-maniacs that have practically elevated him to messianic stature. So, to be clear, I don’t think that God needs a winner in the NFL or that saints get a supernatural edge. However, I will be equally clear that I believe (from what I see) that he is being blessed by God in ways almost unexplainable. Imagine, for example, that he is actually making more money this year than Aaron Rodgers, the premier QB of the NFL! Clearly, God is blessing that young man right now.
What’s heretical about saying God is clearly blessing him?
This is a public business and a loss last Sunday would probably have meant the end of his career in Denver, probably the end of his career as a starting QB anywhere and the termination of all the power that comes with that position. Therefore, I told my wife and kids on Sunday morning that I was praying that Tim Tebow would win. With one minute left in the game I had to consciously yield my thoughts to God and bow to His sovereign plan as superior to anything that I thought because I believed Tebow was losing. When he won we danced and shouted like crazies.
So many people, Christians especially, are trying to defend God by saying that He’s too great and mighty and lofty to care about who wins football games. They couldn’t be more wrong. Theologically. God cares about everything. Even a tiny little sparrow in the market place that’s worth only a farthing. Here is something I wrote in response to HOF Tarkenton’s piece in the Washington Street Journal in which he basically tried to defend Christians from the sneering world by saying we don’t actually believe God cares about who wins football games.
Sadly, Tarkenton is wrong. He and Bob Costas and a host of other Christians claim God doesn’t care about football games. They couldn’t be more wrong. He cares about everything. He notices a sparrow that falls to the ground and He notices big business sports games. Plainly stated, God cares who wins and loses.
However — HOWEVER! — this in no way means that God necessarily grants wins to saints and losses to infidels. Nor does it necessarily mean that saints get a supernatural edge. It does mean that in respect of the doctrine of Providence it is okay to say God did something favorable to Tim Tebow last week by granting him a W.
NFL football is not “just a game.” It’s a big business and every game is a huge business affair. If Tim Tebow were in any other business we’d want him to succeed at that business when he was deliberately giving God the credit for his success and using the success as a platform for doing good to the helpless and speaking out the Name of Christ. So, yes, I prayed Sunday morning to God that Tim would win against the Steelers. I felt that he needed that win for his career and I think his career is, at the moment, pleasing to God. And I literally thanked God for his victory Sunday afternoon. I’m sure thousands of others, including his mom and dad, were doing the same. We all knew his career in Denver banked on it.
I don’t feel that he has to win against the Patriots to save his career so my prayers for him are less earnest.But what do I know? I just know that I also want the businessmen and workers in my church to pray to God for success in whatever it is that they do. This doesn’t preclude hard work, opposition, setbacks, discouragement, and even failure. It does mean, however, that whatever successes we do get we can humbly and truthfully say, “God helped me do it.” I think that is what Tim does.