Every Christian is called to become a strong athlete of Christ, that is, a faithful and courageous witness to his Gospel. But to succeed in this, he must persevere in prayer, be trained in virtue and follow the divine Master in everything.Pope St. John Paul II
From practice and prayer, relying on team members, and relying on God, there are many connections between sports and athletics and growing spiritually in our everyday lives.
No matter how you move – whether you play in the NBA, take a daily walk, or run a half marathon on the weekends – there’s a prayer and meditation for every season of your faith and fitness journey.
Table of Contents
- Pray Like a Champion with New Athlete Prayers
- When to Pray with Hallow’s Athlete Prayers?
- Relying on God and Others – Jrue Holiday
- Prayers for Stretching, Warming Up, and Cooling Down – Grace McCallum
- Finding Purpose – Trevor Williams
- Pre-Game Prayers – Brady Quinn
- Post-Game Prayers – Brandon Wimbush
- Words of Inspiration – Lou Holtz
- Pray the Rosary While You Run – Stretch With SoulCore
Pray Like a Champion Today with New Athlete Prayers
We are excited and blessed to partner with inspiring athletes and coaches who value faith immensely: Jrue Holiday, Grace McCallum, Trevor Williams, Brady Quinn, Brandon Wimbush, Lou Holtz, and Deanne Miller and Colleen Scariano from SoulCore.
These Athlete Prayers are not just for elite or competitive athletes; they are for everyone who needs some motivation to get up and move. These prayers are also great for praying before any big event in your life, whether it’s a presentation at work, an exam in school, or something in your personal life, like a challenging conversation with a friend or family member.
Hallow’s prayers for sports and prayers for athletes focus on building trust in our relationships with one another, strengthening our faith in God, and developing the mental toughness we often need in all that life hands us. To pray like a champion – that is what we aspire to do!
What are the gifts of praying and meditating alongside athletics?
Learning to associate prayer and movement helps us get into a rhythm of praying without ceasing – praying all the time! More specifically, three main learning areas come to mind for us:
- Develop virtues and discipline
- Improve teamwork – with others and with God
- Understand our desire for God
Develop virtues and discipline
We can all think of the apparent virtues we learn from sports: humility, courage, perseverance, and endurance. Still, other virtues we also develop in athletics deeply relate to our prayer growth.
We experience joy and learn how to share that joy with others when we win.
We learn to have gratitude for others, our competitors, the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and the gifts, talents, and bodies God has given to us.
We develop resilience. We learn to accept our weaknesses. We welcome help when we need it, which is often. We learn how to get back up after being knocked down physically as well as mentally – to push through what the other team has in our way.
Practicing these virtues and growing in discipline often helps us discover our purpose – as team members, individuals, and children of God.
Improve teamwork – with others and with God
In athletics, our teammates push us to perform better athletically – to understand our strengths and weaknesses and to see where we can improve – and we do the same for them. Just like sports, we need teammates in life; we need friends, partners, and coaches who support us in growing spiritually. We all form and play a role on the bigger team of those working to glorify His Kingdom on earth, and sports help us visualize this.
Through developing these relationships with others and better understanding ourselves as human beings, we also see the bigger picture of what it means to be on a team with God. Integrating prayer into athletics reminds us that He is always with us; all we need to do is call on Him.
Understand our desire for God
We often fail in sports and athletics. That’s just part of competing, of pushing ourselves.
In football, we fumble.
In basketball, we miss shots.
In track, we trip.
In tennis, we fault.
In life, at times, we make poor decisions; we act selfishly; we neglect to spend time with God; we forget to be grateful. Part of being human is failing, and sports teach us this. But sports also demonstrate to us how much stronger resilience and reliance on others, namely our teams and God, are than our mistakes. We realize that we cannot do it all on our own; we need someone to coach us, someone to learn with us, and someone to grow with us.
This desire – for others and God – is always stronger than our mistakes. These moments of relationship overcome our moments of failure.
Sports mimic life, and in life, we need prayer. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose, but as we grow athletically and spiritually, we must remember that it isn’t all on us, nor should it be. Both athletics and prayer lead us to understand that we deeply desire and need relationships with others and God.
Remember, God is always with us – He is always on our team.
When should I pray with Hallow’s Athlete Prayers?
While these prayers and meditations were written with movement and sports in mind, they can also be prayed at other times. Here are a few times when you might consider praying with Hallow’s Athlete Prayer before, during, or after:
- A game, race, or workout
- A team meeting
- A meeting with your coach
- A presentation at work
- An exam in school
- A job interview
- A hard conversation
- A “win”
- A “loss”
Even if you’re not preparing for something in sports or athletics, these prayers for sports are helpful when you’re feeling down or need some inspiration and hype.
Our Athlete Partners, the Hallow Team, and God — we are always cheering you on!
Relying on God and Others with Jrue Holiday, NBA Champion Point Guard for the Milwaukee Bucks
Father, Husband, and NBA Champion Point Guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, Jrue Holiday is all about teamwork for his faith, family, and team. From being the Teammate of the Year in 2021, to leaving the sport to take care of his wife and family, and with each assist to Giannis, Khris, and more, he embodies what it means to assist, sacrifice, and work as a team on and off the court.
In his meditations on Hallow, Jrue encourages us to remember that no one is self-made, even though it is often tempting to think we can do things on our own. In sports and life, we must rely on God, rely on others, and stand with others. Scripture is rich with stories and Bible verses that show us this.
Jrue leads us through Lectio Divina meditation on several Scripture passages. Take a few moments to read the following Bible passage from the Gospel of Matthew, and notice where God is speaking to you through Scripture.
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
You can also meditate on the Letters of St. Paul and pray the Lord’s Prayer with Jrue Holiday on Hallow.
Prayers for Stretching, Warming Up, and Cooling Down with Grace McCallum, USA Olympic Gymnast
Olympic gymnast and silver medalist Grace McCallum keeps faith at the center of gymnastics. She guides us through a prayerful warm-up, mid-day stretch and prayer, and a cool-down session to ground our performance in God on Hallow. Integrating prayer into stretching, rest, and preparation helps us become more aware of our gifts; we become more aware of God moving through the times of slowness (preparation and recovery) so that our performance might reflect Him more fully.
If you find yourself struggling to find time to bring God into these moments, your prayer can be as simple as, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
On Hallow, Grace guides us through the Angelus, traditionally prayed mid-day. Accompanying stretching with prayer in the middle of our days allows us to recenter on God, no matter what the day has been like and will be like for us.
“The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
[Hail Mary …]
And the Word was made Flesh:
And dwelt among us.
[Hail Mary …]
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Pray while stretching, warming up, and cooling down with Grace McCallum exclusively on the Hallow app.
Handling Pressure with Super Bowl Champion Harrison Butker
Harrison Butker, kicker for Kansas City Chiefs, leads us through three prayers to maintain and grow our faith under pressure. Harrison gives thanks to his friend and teammate Grant, who led him back to the faith in college, and leads us to place our trust in Jesus in some of the toughest moments, especially when we are on a big stage like the Super Bowl.
“While I face pressure in some of the most intense situations on the football field, my faith allows me to put all of these moments in perspective. As athletes, we think that sports are the most important thing in our life. But, we have to take a step back and ask what our reason is for being on this earth. Ultimately, it’s a question of who we worship. It can’t be sports. It has to be our Lord Jesus Christ.”Harrison Butker
A simple prayer for trust
Harrison guides us to turn to a simple prayer in times of pressure, in times when we might not have the energy or the strength to form the words ourselves. We pray the same phrase three times:
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Harrison also guides us through the Emergency Novena and a series of Scriptural affirmations on finding joy on and off the field.
Finding Purpose with Trevor Williams, MLB Pitcher for the New York Mets
“The purpose for my life runs much deeper than the sport I play, and in thinking about this, I’ve challenged myself to compare my love of sports with my love of God.”Trevor Williams
Trevor Williams asks us to consider how we approach attending a ballgame compared to attending church.
We dress up in our team’s colors and arrive early at ballgames.
We come prepared to celebrate our team.
We cheer for our team.
We stay engaged throughout the game.
Is this how we approach attending Mass each Sunday?
Trevor encourages us to consider approaching Mass similarly to how we approach ballgames – to come prepared, excited, and ready to engage in the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
We prepare ourselves to find purpose in and through our faith, and we look to the Saints to guide us in doing this. One of the prayers Trevor leads us through is the prayer for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel:
Intercessory Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
Pre-Game Prayers with Brady Quinn, Legendary Notre Dame Quarterback
It’s important to invite God into your time of preparation – for your workout, practice, competition, or another significant event in your life. Brady Quinn, former Notre Dame and NFL quarterback, leads us through several pre-game prayers.
On the app, Brady leads us through more detailed pre-game prayers, but here is one you can do on your own in just a few minutes:
- Invite God into the game, let go of any worries, and do your best to eliminate any distractions.
- Pray for strength.
- Pray for your opponents.
- Have gratitude for those who have helped you get to this position.
- Conclude with the Our Father.
Brady also guides us through a pre-game visualization, which helps us pray imaginatively before your upcoming game or event, exclusively on Hallow.
Post-Game Prayers with Brandon Wimbush, former Notre Dame and UCF Quarterback
Brandon Wimbush played quarterback at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Central Florida. He is also a Co-Founder of MOGL, a NIL technology solution for athletes. Through college athletics and two of the most prestigious football programs in the nation, you work with the world’s leading experts on everything from warm-up to cool down, from pre-game to post-game rituals. And Brandon leads us in doing just that.
Brandon guides us through various post-game prayers, encouraging us always to be grateful for the opportunity to perform in athletics. While these prayers are great for post-game or post-workout, you can also pray with them after other events in your life where you “performed” in some fashion.
Prayer for after a “win”
- Invite the Holy Spirit into this time in prayer.
- Give thanks to God for your victory, the opportunity to compete, your body and mind, and those who made the win possible.
- Pray for your opponents.
- Close with the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer).
Prayer for after a “loss”
- Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you.
- Give thanks to God for the opportunity to compete.
- Have gratitude for His and others’ support of both the wins and losses in your life.
- Call to mind what else you are grateful for, and name the blessings you recall from the game.
- Pray for the grace to accept this loss and the strength to move forward.
- Lastly, pray to trust God always.
You can also reflect on your performance by praying the Post-Game Examen, as well as St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Suscipe Prayer, with Brandon, exclusively on Hallow.
Words of Inspiration from Lou Holtz, Hall of Fame College Football Coach
“We all have a tendency to think we can do things on our own. If you want to make God laugh, you tell Him what your plans are.”
In 2015, Lou Holtz delivered the undergraduate commencement speech at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Along with many others, we continued to be inspired by his words.
In his speech, Holtz encourages us to live down-to-earth and with steadfast faith in God. He says, “Life doesn’t have to be that complicated,” and shares the four things we genuinely need in life. Hint: we need two “someones” and two “somethings.”
You can find this speech on Hallow to pump you up and get you ready for anything life throws your way.
Pray the Rosary While You Run and Stretch With SoulCore
SoulCore is an apostolate that seeks to integrate movement with praying the Rosary. Deanne Miller and Colleen Scariano, co-founders of SoulCore, lead us through two Rosaries on Hallow: a Rosary for running, and a Rosary for stretching.
Running and stretching are two movements that help us release tension and grow awareness of our bodies; pairing them with prayer allows us to nourish our bodies and souls with prayer and understanding of the Holy Spirit.
Running Rosary on the Joyful Mysteries
On Hallow, Deanne leads us through some pre-run stretches and then into an interval run.
If you’re a seasoned runner, this is a great opportunity to invite God into something you already do daily or weekly; we can meet Christ in the combined repetition of the Rosary and running.
If you’re new to running, praying the Rosary while running is a beautiful way to develop a new awareness of your body and soul. Of course, the Rosary is the main focus of this time, so feel comfortable moving in a way that is comfortable to you.
While running, Deanne guides us through the Joyful Mysteries of Jesus’s life: the Incarnation, Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation and Finding in the Temple. These mysteries encourage us to meditate on the virtues of humility, love, discipline, and of course, joy.
You can also pray the Rosary while stretching with SoulCore on Hallow.