24 May 2010
As England face Mexico with less than three weeks to their opening match against the USA in South Africa, the Church of England has published three prayers for the World Cup: two for the teams, the hosts and the fans - and one for those not interested. The prayers ask for blessings on all those involved, for generous sportsmanship and for the competition to be a source of celebration.
The prayers, for personal use or during church services, were specially written by the Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Croydon, and the Communications Office in association with National Worship Development Officer the Rev Peter Moger.
Bishop Nick said of the prayers: "More than half the population pray at some time* and everyone will be affected by the World Cup in one way or another, so it makes sense to have some prayers for those that want to use them. This isn't just about football; it's about the rainbow nations of the world celebrating together with the people of South Africa."
Prayers for all those involved in the World Cup
Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being,
guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration,
an experience of common humanity and
a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others.
God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup.
Smile on South Africa in her hosting,
on the nations represented in competition and
on those who travel to join in the party.
A prayer for those simply not interested
Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever,
bless us with understanding,
strengthen us with patience and
grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.
*According to the National Centre for Social Research, 55 percent of people pray at some time.