Korky Kemp serves as the Eastern Director for College Golf Fellowship, a national ministry with nine full time staff based around the country. Having played golf at NC State, then professionally for seven years on various tours, he started working with CGF in 2005. Through outreach banquets, team and tournament visits, weekly Bible studies, individual discipleship and retreats with PGA Tour players, the staff of CGF strive to impact the world of college golf and beyond with the life changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This blog post was adapted from Korky’s Links Player devotional on prayer.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 NIV
PGA Tour Pros on Prayer
I remember a question and answer session with Zach Johnson and Lee Janzen, where a student asked, “What do you pray for when it comes to your golf game?” Zach Johnson’s short, simple answer spoke volumes:
“I have always prayed that God would help me to learn something every day on the golf course.”
I also remember Webb Simpson’s interview after winning the US Open in 2012. He said he prayed harder than he ever had over the last few holes. Of course, it isn’t just golf pros and other athletes who pray for God’s hand when they’re under pressure. Many of our great leaders do, too.
American Leaders on Prayer
Abraham Lincoln stated, “I have been driven many time to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
Ronald Reagan repeatedly stated, “When we open ourselves to Him, we gain not only moral courage but also intellectual strength.” Reagan was once asked if he was a born again Christian…his response, “I didn’t know there was any other kind.”
Finally, the prayers of George Washington are well documented in William J. Johnson’s book George Washington, The Christian, written in 1919. Washington prayed lengthy prayers in the morning and evening. This is an excerpt from one of his morning prayers:
“Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber.
But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends and kindred unite us all in praising and glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.”
The Bible on Prayer
Prayer is a sign of ultimate reliance upon God. Prayer pleases God (Proverbs 15:8), helps us (Hebrews 4:14-16), and God answers prayer (Matthew 7:7-11). Prayer includes confession (1 John 1:9), praises (Revelation 4:11, 5:9), requests (Philippians 4:6-7) and thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Jesus modeled prayer for us by praying early and alone (Mark 1:35). God’s word guides us to pray continually, pray for government officials, pray for fellow believers, pray against temptation, pray for nonbelievers, pray for the gospel to be clear, pray for the harvest…etc.
Let us Pray
As each of us has time in the car, on the golf course, alone or wherever, may we capture that time and use it to pray biblically and communicate with our mighty God!
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