Orville Higgins | Hear my prayer, Lord
As the year comes to a close, I've decided to do what most people do: make my sports wish list for 2017. Now whether God answers sports prayers is another matter. The jury is still out on that one.
Here is my open prayer:
My first wish for next year is for the West Indies to start winning Test matches again. We haven't done too badly, Lord, in the shorter versions of the game, but we are doing horribly in the five-day format. Help our batsmen to concentrate, o Lord, and help our bowlers to be able to hit length and line more often than not. It would be nice if our bowlers started learning to swing the ball better, but, o Lord, I won't burden You too much on that.
While we are on cricket, o Lord, help Darren Bravo, like the Prodigal Son, to return to the fold. Help government ministers and prime ministers around the region to go run their countries and leave cricket alone, dear Lord.
Please help our national under-17 team to qualify for the World Cup. Lord, our senior team failed us, and the football programme could do with a boost. We are drawn in a group that includes some tough teams, but with Your help, all is possible. If You can rescue Daniel from the lion's den, if You can get Your Son Jesus to turn water into wine, us beating USA and Mexico shouldn't be too hard for You, Lord.
In netball, we are hoping that we finally break the jinx on not reaching a major final, o Lord. Australia and New Zealand have been having their own way for too long now. Let the spoils be shared, o Lord. Let the Sunshine Girls rise up and be fearless when next they play those two teams in a major competition. Infuse the Sunshine Girls, o God, with the same spirit that You gave David when he slew the bully Goliath.
TOUCH THOSE FISTS
We also pray, o Lord, for our brother, Nicholas 'Axeman' Walters. He looked a little lost in his last fight, but we know that with You, Lord, all things are possible. Touch those fists, and let him rise again. Don't let that rather tame display in his last fight be the last image we have of him. Let him find the axe that seems to have deserted him recently.
Help our brother, Usain, dear Lord, as he makes his last hurrah in London next year. Make him end on a high, o God. Let him not be distracted by the pleasures of the world. Let not the Americans beat him as he puts the cap on his outstanding career.
Is it too much to ask for Asafa to win an individual title at the next World Championships, o Lord? You dropped manna from heaven to the children of Israel. How hard can it be to give our dear Asafa a chance on the podium in London?
Lord, as we look to the NBA, I would want the title to go back to Cleveland, but if You can't grant me that, let it not go to Golden State Warriors. Any other team will do. Let Kevin Durrant wait for a title, o Lord. Don't let him win any ring after he deserted Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma and tried to get the ring the easy way. Let him know that no Sankey nuh sing so, o Lord. Let him realise it was a wimpish move to run to the team he had on the ropes in the conference final.
We ask for these things knowing full well, o Lord, that if it is Thy will, they will be done. We respectfully ask for these things through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Orville Higgins is a sportscaster and talk-show at KLAS ESPN Sports FM. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.