A high school football coach who was fired for praying at football games recently shared why prayer is so integral to his life.
In an article published in The Washington Times, Joe Kennedy, former football coach of Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Washington, shares his journey of discovering how powerful prayer truly can be.
Kennedy writes that he spent time as a child in foster homes. Oftentimes, as a kid his prayers to God were more like “falling on my knees, fists in the air, cursing at the God I didn’t even know.”
Later, at a Christian boys’ home, Kennedy grappled with his doubts about God, and pondered the unconditional love he saw in those who mentored him.
Kennedy says he gave his life to the Lord while in the boys’ home, but it wasn’t until later in life that his relationship with God truly became transformative.
He served a time with the Marines and then retired from the military. When his wife and kids persuaded him to go to church with them, “I knew it was time to get serious about my walk with God, and I did,” he says.
“[W]hen you pray and thank God for what he’s already done in your life, things start making sense. You can see where the pieces of your life fit into his big picture. Your life has purpose,” Kennedy writes.
Kennedy says all those experiences were used by God to help him mentor and coach the young men on the football team at Bremerton High School.
And when the time came for him to either stand up for his faith or back down, he knew what was most important.
Kennedy was suspended, and ultimately let go as football coach of Bremerton High School because of his refusal to stop offering a private prayer at the 50-yard line after football games.
Although he regrets that he can no longer coach the young men on the team, Kennedy says he remains thankful to the Lord.
Publication date: June 17, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.