Toronto Raptors' Jeremy Lin is asking fellow Christians to commit to praying daily until the end of the NBA playoffs, revealing that God has challenged him to pray more often and more boldly.
"Recently, I listened to a 9-part sermon series on prayer by Pastor Caleb Clardy of Trinity Grace Church – Park Slope and read Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. It really convicted me that I spend too much of my life trying to work work work, instead of praying and allowing God to be God," Lin said in an email sent to fans.
"I've been heavily challenged personally to pray more often and more boldly. So that's why I decided to start a prayer movement with whoever will pray alongside me during the 2019 NBA Playoffs."
Lin, an avid Christian who is not afraid to hide his faith, acknowledged that most people are probably thinking, "Jeremy just wants us all to pray that the Raptors win a championship."
"Yes and no," he admitted. "Yes because my selfish flesh really really really wants that. But no because recently I've been learning to put God's kingdom above mine. In fact, as a follower of Him, I should be fully devoted to building God's kingdom."
"In all honesty, I don't know if I'll even play, how much I'll play, how many games we will win or how far we will go," he continued. "But I will fight to be a faithful steward with whatever God gives me – and right now, that's my heart to pray and for the 11,191 (and counting) prayer warriors that I can encourage to pray with me."
The former Brooklyn Net said he's asking everyone to commit to praying daily with him until the end of the NBA playoffs, regardless of whether the Raptors are in it until the end or not.
"There is no guaranteed day the playoffs will end, but it will for sure be in the first half of June," he said. "Feel free to bring your friends along or pass the prayer letter along to a local church if you want! Trust me, there are many reservations and feelings of fear inside me. But my biggest thing from the book/sermons I've absorbed is I need to be bold in faith and trust that God will show up! After all, that's what walking by faith and not by sight really means."
The 30-year-old athlete emphasized that he takes his platform seriously and has put a great deal of thought and prayer into the following three things that he's asking everyone to pray for.
That one of your family members or friends (you choose) would come to know Jesus or have a breakthrough in their spiritual life. Many of you have people in your lives that you've been praying for and thinking about for a long time. If not, ask God to place someone on your heart to pray.
That God would use the Raptors and our playoff stretch powerfully on and off the court. That includes the possibility of winning a championship but the main request is that God's kingdom is radically expanded through our playoff stretch. That could mean through success or even through failure.
This is probably the most important one in my opinion. That there would be spiritual revival in the city of Toronto. That those that have been praying and working in Toronto for so long would be encouraged and see breakthrough in their work, and that we would see people flocking to churches, people serving the needy, feeding the poor, loving the hurt, saving the lost.
"3 prayer requests, 1 time of prayer each day, 2 months total," he concluded. "If through these prayer requests you feel God calling you to pray for your family, your team/place of work or your city more, please pray as you feel led! Thanks for those who are joining me in this prayer movement!"
In 2014, Lin introduced the prayer group to fans which sends an email of prayers to those who subscribe on his website. In a later interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lin said his spiritual life is a big part of his game, though he had to learn to surrender everything to God in order to find peace on the court. "When I was a rookie, I put myself through mental torment. I can't do that anymore. So now I'm just growing more as a person spiritually and just learning to surrender it all. It gives me a lot of peace, man."