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"Pray for Christian Eriksen". Why we know there's a God out there really.



Ian Goodson says our instinctive response to pray in a crisis shows that many people are 'closet believers' in some sort of God. Christianity can give you certainty about what you instinctively think is true.


A little over two weeks ago millions of football fans across Europe watched upsetting scenes as Christian Eriksen, the Danish footballer, collapsed with a heart attack during a match at the European Football Championships.


The tone in the commentators voice was very sombre. They described how Eriksen’s team mates and wife were in tears, and how he lay motionless surrounded by medics.


It sounded like Eriksen wouldn’t make it.


Thankfully he did survive. Later he was able to make a telephone call to his team mates from his hospital bed. They were able to resume the match.


(Almost!) everyone wanted to pray!

Here’s the thing I want to point out: all of a sudden it seemed like at least half of the football 'community' outed themselves as believers in some kind of God!


The commentators and pundits on the radio coverage frequently said ‘our thoughts and prayers are with Christian Eriksen”


Footballer Jesse Lingard said he was “praying everything is ok”. Raheem Sterling tweeted “prayers go out to Christian”.


BBC pundit Alex Scott was moved to tears in the TV studio and said ‘we have to sit here and pray’.


BBC pundit Alex Scott was moved to tears in the TV studio and said ‘we have to sit here and pray’.

Even whole football clubs said they were praying! Manchester United’s Twitter account said “Keeping Christian Eriksen in our thoughts and prayers.”


You can only pray if there is a God who can hear your prayers. Otherwise you are talking utter nonsense.


In a crisis we assume there is a God

The spiritual interest didn’t last long.


As soon as the word was Eriksen was conscious there were no more mentions of prayer.


I think this mirrors precisely the experience of many if not most people in Wakefield.


When something immensely worrying and painful happens to us - like when a loved one gets seriously ill - we instinctively assume there is someone, some power, some God out there who can hear us and who could help us.


But when the crisis is over we immediately choose to forget all about our spiritual moment. “How embarrassing”, we think.


We need to own up

My point is this: we instinctively know there is a God, and the only wise thing to do is own up to it and look for the truth about God.


We instinctively know there is a God, and the only wise thing to do is own up to it and look for the truth about God.

All of the efforts of our culture to eradicate the idea of God, to convince us that we are just cosmic accidents, to tell us that we have to keep spiritual ideas private - it all goes right out of the window when we are suddenly in a crisis.


The Bible says we choose to ‘suppress the truth about God’ (Romans 1:18).


Start your investigation

I suggest that it is a completely sane and sensible to investigate this instinctive belief that rears its head from time to time.


To not spend some time seriously investigating Christianity, the view of the world that has convinced so many millions down the centuries and across the world today, is surely... madness?


So look for a church, like Grace Church Wakefield, and ask the leaders there to help you with your questions about God.