NASCAR and Prayer

A YouTube video featuring a plump southern pastor praying at a NASCAR race is making the rounds. Basically he makes a mockery of prayer by thanking God for all the NASCAR sponsors and throwing in the now pastorally obligatory “thank you for my smoking hot wife,” which taken literally she probably was smoking and since it’s been 300 degrees down south is, no doubt, hot as well.

There are two responses to this video:

1) This is the best prayer ever! Absolutely hilarious. ROFL!
2) This is sheer blasphemy, this pastor is heretic scum and should be stoned.

Here’s my response:

First off, it is funny. Secondly, it is total blasphemy. However, the whole notion of praying before a NASCAR race strikes me as blasphemy, it’s not the venue.

Guys who would use a prayer before a NASCAR race to share the Gospel may have their reward in heaven. In my book, accepting the offer to pray before a NASCAR race is mistake number one.

As a pastor I have had to pray in many venues, some of which seem ridiculous to me. Before church softball games, before Awana Grand Prix races, before many things that are nothing more than just plain fun.

I’m not opposed to praying before these things, but I am opposed to making prayer solemn in a unsolemn locale. At least before church softball or Awana Grand Prix you are talking to people who are aware that this is a churchy event.

NASCAR races are fun for those who find them fun. They are a gathering of people who enjoy partying, getting drunk and hoping to see guys get hurt, it’s no place for a prayer and you might as well have fun with it.

Would I do it? Not a chance, but this guy gives his stand before God someday and who knows, maybe God likes the high performance of Sunoco Racing Fuel and is glad someone finally thanked Him for it.

5 thoughts on “NASCAR and Prayer”

  1. How do you know that it is a gathering of people that, as you put it “enjoy partying, getting drunk and hoping to see guys get hurt?” I have been to many races and I enjoy them just as much as someone enjoys a football,hockey, baseball, or basketball game. Yes there are drunks there, there are also people that use bad language just like most any sporting event out there. There are also many people that are there with their kids watching the sport that they enjoy. No one that I know of hopes to see a driver get hurt! Whenever there is a bad wreck you can hear a pin drop at the race but when the driver comes out of that car OK you can’t hear yourself think.I have worked the raceway ministries at these races and it a great ministry to the fans and it is a blessing that NASCAR still lets us do this. Be careful that you don’t judge a group by a few people, the world does this to Christians all the time.

  2. All apologies. It was a gross generalization based on my experience with professional sports in general. NASCAR fans are no worse than other sport’s fans and I doubt highly they are any better either. It is not the venue for prayer, in my opinion.

  3. I wonder how the early christians would have fared if they had set up a ministry at the Roman Coliseum chariot races? I figure they would have been grabbed, tied up behind the chariots, and dragged around the ring until dead, for good sport. How different the christianity of our day must be compared to theirs.

    Perhaps we are tempted to think that it is because “we live in a christian country” that we have more freedom. It’s not so…the same sins that brought down the Roman Empire are alive and well in America, and flourishing. It’s only because we do not speak out against those sins, and show by our example that we will have nothing to do with them.

    What do we hunger and thirst for? Righteousness, or excitement? What are we fathers, by our example, teaching our sons to love? It is wolves that love the excitement of the chase…lambs are happy to graze peacefully on grass.

    How will we give account to God of the wasted money, the extravagance, the burning up of the last resources of this earth, just for the sake of show, pleasure and temporal excitement? Some of the fuel coming into America now, to satisfy her insatiable appetite, comes from poor countries, whose people and children are dying from the environmental pollution and greed of the business crooks who suck their country of what God gave it to provide for their own needs. Their blood cries out from the ground for every unjust drop of their resources that we consume in our lust. If we love the things of this world, the love of the Father is not in us.

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