10 Inspiring Prayers for Basketball Players Before Games
As Christian athletes, we should strive to honor God and live for him in all that we do, including when we play games like basketball.
To help you prepare for your upcoming game, here are 10 Bible verses and inspirational prayers that you can think about.
Proverbs 27:17 - Sharpen One Another
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Dear God, thank you for the gift of my teammates.
Although it can be tempting to want to play for myself and to forget my teammates, the nature of the game reminds me that I need people around me.
My teammates are there so that we can all support one another and make each other better as we accomplish great things together.
Help me to sharpen my teammates and to let my teammates sharpen me.
Help me to see them not as a burden but as an essential path to reach my full potential. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Philippians 2:3-4 - Look to the Interests of Others
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Dear Lord, it is so easy to be selfish and have selfish ambitions out on the court. It’s easy to want the glory for yourself, but help me to remember to lift up my teammates instead.
Help me to recognize the strengths of each team player and to see the bigger picture of how we each help one another.
Help me to look out for the interests of all my teammates and to count each of my teammates as being more important than myself.
Help me to be the salt of the earth by treating them as I would want to be treated by them. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - Lift One Another Up
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
Heavenly Father, thank you that you have surrounded me with teammates who care for me and will pick me up when I am down.
Help me to also be a teammate that will do the same for them. If one of my teammates falls, help me realize that the most important thing is to pick them back up and help them get back in the game.
Help me to even do the same for the opposing team. Help me to show true sportsmanship on the court that ultimately shows your love through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Colossians 3:23 - Work for the Lord
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”
O God, even though a basketball game can seem like such a small thing, there is no such thing as a small thing in a Christian’s life.
You call me to do all things for you and not for the praise of others, so help me to do the same in my basketball game.
Help me to play in a way that doesn’t just gain the praise of the people watching, but gains the praise of you.
Through your Holy Spirit, help me to honor you and to work hard in my game so that I can bring glory to your name through good works. I ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - Play with Self-Control
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
Almighty Father, it is easy to get distracted during a basketball game.
Whether it’s getting distracted by people on the sidelines or my own goals during the game, I want to ask that you keep me focused and self-controlled as I play.
Help me to keep my eye on the prize and to play in a way that I can be proud of when the game is over.
Help me to not act on emotion but to work hard and do my best to bring glory to your name in the way that I play. I ask these things in the name of Jesus, amen.
Hebrews 12:1 - Play with Endurance
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
Dear Lord God, I want to do the best that I possibly can during this basketball game.
I don’t want to take it easy or hold back; I want to play with endurance and make the people watching proud, including you.
Help me to do my best during this game and to play with integrity and endurance as I lift up my fellow teammates and do my best to show true sportsmanship to the other team.
Be with me as I play and give me the peace of God. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus, amen.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - Do All to the Glory of God
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Almighty God, I pray that as I play basketball, I am reminded that everything that I do should be to the glory of your name.
Even in the game of basketball, the way that I play shows whether I am there for myself or whether I am focusing my life on you.
I pray that I would play in a way that would show that I play for your glory. Points on the scoreboard may not necessarily bring you glory, but the way that I play certainly can.
Help me to show true teamwork and sportsmanship with a good attitude so that your love can shine through me to others. I ask these things in your name, amen.
Proverbs 24:16 - Get Back Up
“for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
God, when playing the wonderful sport of basketball, so many things can happen. Especially when things are so fast-paced, I can fall and get discouraged in many different ways.
However, I pray that I will be strong as I play and that, if I fall, I get back up again and do my best.
Help me to help any fallen teammates get back up again and show that same care to any of my opponents who fall. Help us to all have good health as we play.
In all that I do as a child of God, let your goodness pour through me to all who are watching. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, amen.
Romans 12:10 - Love One Another with Honor
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
God, let my goal in playing basketball not be to just put points on the board but to love my teammates with brotherly affection.
Help me to want to outdo my teammates in showing honor to one another and help my team to have a spirit of brotherhood.
Whether we are winning or losing, give my team a spirit of God's grace and unity of heart and help us not get upset or angry with one another.
In all that we do, help us to show your love in the way that we play. Help us to be the light of the world together and have endless grace for one another. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ephesians 4:29 - Build Up with Words
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Dear Father, in the fast-paced game of basketball, it can be easy to say things out of anger or annoyance on the court, especially when things aren’t going your way.
However, even towards my opponents, help the words that come out of my mouth to only be words that build up, not words that tear down.
Help me to not allow emotion to overcome my words. Instead, help me to speak words of love and encouragement to everyone on the court so that your love can be shown to everyone I speak to. I ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.