My Olympic Prayer: Finding God or Finding Gold


Dear Lord, you have created me in your own precious image, thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

You created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


You made my feet like the feet of a deer, my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You made me fast, and when I run, I feel your pleasure.[1]

I am grateful to you for your wonderful gift to me.


You look from heaven; you know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar.

O Lord, you have searched me and you know my thoughts, I am the sheep of your pasture.

You have taught me not to run for the glory of men, but for the glory of God.


The glory of men will fade, shift and change like grass of the field; but the glory of God stands forever.

The praises of men will come and will go; but the love of God will last till eternity.

I thank you that your love for me does not depend on my success, for I am your precious child. You will always love me.


Let me breathe not only the air in the natural atmosphere, but let me breathe in the divine atmosphere and spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.[2]

Let me feel and breathe his spirit of purity and integrity, his spirit of compassionate love; let me breathe his spirit of humility and gentleness, let me breathe his spirit of fearlessness, freedom and peace.

Let me share in his unwavering trust in your unfailing unconditional Fatherly love.


Let me honour you, as he honours you; let me love you as he loves you; let me commit my life to you as he commits his life to you without remainder.

Let me know your divine presence as he knows your divine presence.

For in your presence, there is light, truth and freedom, in your presence there is love.


When I run, may I run with the glorious freedom of the children of God, may I run with fearlessness, may I express all the gifts you have given me; may I run for your pleasure, may I enjoy your precious loving presence when I run.

When I breathe, may I breathe in the spirit and the life force of your Son Jesus Christ; indeed may his Holy Spirit breathe in me when I breathe.

When I win, may I give you all the honour, may I acknowledge you as my wonderful creator, sustainer, may I acknowledge you as my shepherd and my ultimate coach who has guided and instructed me.

When I do not win, may I hold my head up high, without shame and without apology because I have tried my best; may I thank you for my wonderful gift and the opportunity to take part and fellowship with my fellow competitors.[3] May I know that you will always love me and your love does not depend on my success.


Who and what will I have in heaven apart from you? I will see you face to face one day.

My wonderful body will be worn out on that day. But I thank you that you will replace my perishable body with an imperishable glorified body.

You again will make my feet like the feet of a deer, my arms will again bend a bow of bronze.

You will make me go on heights which I had never achieved before. I will be faster, stronger and sharper.[4]


I praise you for I am and I will be wonderfully and fearfully made ­– in your own precious image.

On that day, I will run and breathe fully and perfectly in the glorious freedom of the children of God; I will be released from every hint of earthly self-centred passion.

I will run for God, for his pleasure and for his glory. I shall find God who is more precious than gold. I shall find that his love is life and we will enjoy him forever.


In the name of you Son Jesus Christ, amen.[5]


[1] Adapted from Eric Liddell’s famous quote.

[2] Adapted from John 20:22.

[3] ‘To take part and fellowship with my fellow competitors’ is an adaptation of an informal Olympic motto, introduced by De Coubertin – "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!" De Coubertin took this motto from a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania during the 1908 London Games.

[4] ‘You will make me go on heights which I had never achieved before. I will be faster, stronger and sharper’ is an adaptation of the Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger". The motto was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin on the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. De Coubertin borrowed it from his friend Henri Didon, a Dominican priest who, amongst other things, was an athletics enthusiast.

[5] A number of sentences in this prayer were adapted from Bible verses, especially Psalm 139.