England vs Columbia: Pointless Prayers

“Please keep it out!”

“Get it in!”

“Make him miss!”

These words were shouted in my house last night as England and Columbia competed for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals by means of penalty shoot-outs. Never our strong point, it was hard to watch as so much depended on so little. But to whom was I talking? The players couldn’t hear me, and if they could, it was hardly make a difference. Was I praying?? God is no Englishman and I doubt He is troubled by which team scores the most goals. I imagine that in both Catholic Columbia and secular England, millions of short prayers rushed to heaven that their respective teams might claim victory.

On the one hand, it reminds us that deep down in all of us, we have an awareness of a divine Being with the power to assist. On the other, it shows how selfish and misguided we are, that we pray for things that don’t ultimately matter, while ignoring God the rest of the time.