But Coach Prime didn’t back down. If anything, he doubled down on his faith in Jesus and bold talk about all things God, both in press conferences and conversations with his own players.
My prayer for Coach Prime is that God would help him to develop a holy, humble swagger that doesn’t cruelly taunt his opposition and tear down those who didn’t believe in him as a coach. My prayer is that he can find that balance between playful game-day banter and truly loving his “enemies” like Jesus. Because if Coach Prime can find that balance, there’s a huge opportunity to raise up the name and fame of Jesus in Boulder, Colorado.
Here are my three prayers:
1. Boldness for All Believers
I pray that Coach Prime’s outspokenness for Jesus will instill more boldness into every believer, to those who are on the CU football team, to the believing students who attend CU, and to every Christian across the nation who follows football.
The apostle Paul wrote:
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Gospel. (Philippians 1:12)
What happened to Paul was prison. What happened to Coach Prime was CU football.
And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel without fear. (Philippians 1:14)
Just as Paul’s boldness to declare Jesus while he was in prison gave other believers more courage to evangelize, may Coach Prime’s boldness for Christ in the midst of coaching give other believers courage to proclaim the Gospel.
2. A Spotlight on Jesus
I pray that unbelievers will take a second look at Jesus. I’m thinking specifically of the precious people of Boulder. The students and residents who live in this amazingly beautiful town (which happens to be less 30 minutes away from where I live) desperately need the hope of Christ. The good news is that, so far, most of the citizens of Boulder are passionately cheering for Coach Prime. Why? Because CU football is back with a vengeance! My prayer is that God will use Coach Prime’s boldness to spark conversations about Jesus in Boulder and across the nation.
Perhaps Boulder-area residents who participate in Dare 2 Share LIVE, a global youth evangelism event on November 11 (when the CU Buffs play the Arizona Wildcats at home), will see this as an outreach opportunity. A simple question such as “What do you think about Coach Prime’s boldness about his faith in Jesus?” could spark some amazing Gospel conversations during the outreach time.
3. That We Avoid the Us/Them Mentality
The unbelievers in Boulder are not the enemy—rather, they are victims of the enemy. In 2 Timothy 2:24-26, we read:
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap.
We, as believers, must not taunt the not-yet-believers of Boulder with “Hey, non-Christians, liberals, and atheists, how you like Jesus now? All you unbelievers who are cheering for Coach Prime are clapping for the God he serves at the same time! Ha!”
I share this with a sense of guilt.
Last week I posted a Tweet that went something like: “The very liberal city of Boulder doesn’t quite know what to do with Coach Prime. He’s an unashamed Christian in a cowboy hat. It’s driving the liberals crazy. As a believer in Christ and CU fan, this is gonna be fun to watch.” I had a little twinge of guilt in my soul when I posted it.
But, jet-lagged from my 12-hour trip to Switzerland and excited for Coach Prime’s first win, I posted it. That Tweet got a ton of views, 100K or so. But then a Bible professor who follows me on Twitter posted a response to my Tweet with two simple words: “Why taunt?”