One day God and I were talking about my marriage and God told me that I need to pray offensively. My mind immediately went to basketball and the fact that I never quite understood the difference between offense and defense. This thought came to mind because in that moment, I wasn’t sure what God meant by pray offensively.
So, I decided to do some basketball research. And then I had a basketball chat with my husband to make sure what I gleaned from my research was accurate. What follows is a valuable lesson God provided through basketball. I should confess that I am not a sport enthusiast and I’ve only watched basketball to hang out with a cute guy or check out the cute guys on the court.
Basketball and the Christian Life
Offense would be a team’s attempt to score in any way, whether through passing, dribbling, or shooting. Defense, however, would be a team’s attempt to stop the other team from scoring (e.g. standing in front of player with ball, contesting shots, forcing turnovers). Simply put, the team with possession of the ball is always on offense.
Christians have the ball – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – and the opportunity to score – win souls for the Kingdom.
Satan is always playing defense because he never has the ball. His mission is to steal the ball (our direct connection to God) from us. Two of his tactics are to:
- convince us that we don’t have the ball and the win in the bag
- distract us from the ball and our purpose for being on the court i.e. alive
Applying Basketball to Kingdom Life
Team – Kingdom of God
Ball – Triune God
Passing – Kingdom collaboration
Dribbling – standing in the gap, journeying with believers and nonbelievers
Shooting – direct evangelism/invitation to salvation
Score – win soul(s) for the Kingdom
It is a FIXED GAME. Salvation gives us the ball. Sanctification ensures continuous scoring. Focusing on the target – more team members having access to the ball – ensures we achieve team success.
When we marry, husbands and wives are meant to be on the same team. For Believers, the mini husband-wife team is also on the bigger Team together. Therefore, we do not allow division between us.
The primary goal of a Kingdom marriage is to work together to advance God’s Kingdom (Team). The husband helps the wife score souls for the Team. The wife helps the husband score souls for the Team. No matter who is at play (working, ministering, tending to household needs) at any given moment, the team wins. Thus, there should be no competition. When one scores, i.e. advances the Kingdom, the Team wins. If one gives up the ball, i.e. turns away from God, it affects the Team.
Therefore, each should cover the other against attacks from the opposing team (satan).
Protecting Your Team
Offensive prayers are based on the Truth that victory is assured. So, we pray in agreement with God’s already established successful outcome. This means speaking and praying for the positive that is already promised or encouraged in the Word. This should be our approach to praying for ourselves, our husbands, our marriages, and everyone and everything connected to us.
Below are some verses to guide us in our offensive prayers. I like to take a verse and personalize it by using “I”/”we” or my/our name(s) wherever possible.
1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 15:33
2 Corinthians 12:9
3 John 2
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© Carol G. Griffiths 06/14/2020