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A weird answer to prayer for Bukayo Saka?


Bukayo Saka in a game against Iran at the World Cup in Quatar in November 2022
Credit: Tasnim News Agency/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 4.0

Have you ever had a thought pop into your mind that you should pray for someone? I did recently, and it was kind of weird.

My daughter and I were watching the World Cup soccer match in Qatar between Britain and France over the weekend. It was a quarter-final game, with the winner going on to the semifinals. France would win the game 2.-1.

France was leading 1-0, and a British player was dribbling the ball down the right wing, when I felt the Holy Spirit impress me to pray for him, which I quickly did.

At that point, I didn’t even know who the player was.

I can’t remember exactly how I prayed, but it was something along the lines that God would help him, and bless him.

After I uttered this brief prayer, the player continued down the right side and then turned sharply towards the goal and was fouled after he entered the penalty box, sending him tumbling to the ground.

This led to a penalty kick, that was taken by another player, Harry Kane, who scored, tieing the game at 1-1.

At this point, I found out the player I had prayed for was Bukayo Saka. I don’t watch British soccer that much and had never heard of him.

But having been prompted to pray and then seeing what followed, I thought this is really weird.

Of course, then the usual questions pop into my mind. Had the Holy Spirit asked me to pray for him or was this just my imagination?

Who knows?

But as I continued watching that game, I wondered if the Holy Spirit did prompt me to pray for him, was it possible that Saka was a Christian?

So I googled his name and found out that he was born in Britain to Nigerian parents. According to Wikipedia, at 21 years of age, he is considered one of the best young soccer players in the world.

And the very last line of the Wikipedia article read, “Saka is also a committed Christian.”

I told my daughter what had happened, and she agreed that it was weird, but dug up a story on Fox News about an interview he had in Qatar, where Saka talked about his faith in God and how it helped calm his nerves during the World Cup.

He mentioned reading his Bible every night before going to bed and continued this practice in Qatar because he wanted the presence of God in him at all times.

“Yeah, I’ve been continuing to do that out here with my Bible every night. For me, it’s really important to, obviously, have the presence of God in me all the time,” Saka said.

“It gives me more confidence that God’s plan is perfect, so I can go on the pitch and know that God has my back. The main thing for me is just keeping the faith, having faith in God, so I don’t need to be nervous or worried about any outcomes. Obviously, it’s my first World Cup. I could start worrying about different things and different outcomes. Instead, I just choose to put my faith in God.”

So when thoughts pop into your mind to pray for someone, take a few moments and do it.

READ: England’s Bukayo Saka using ‘presence of God’ to shine in first World Cup AND ‘I hold onto God’s promises’ – the Christian faith of Bukayo Saka

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