There’s been a lot said about the importance of prayers for athletes (see Sunrise with Jason Stevens video). Equally important is the need for prayers by those involved in chaplaincy and those praying for our chaplains.
At a recent critical incident in NSW when a Rugby player lost his life due to a severe head/neck injury, ARU Waratah’s club chaplain Gary Speckman reflected his appreciation of prayers for him in his club care role.
“I ended up doing two team debriefs in three days… about 30-40 players at each club… as well as several personal appointments with the people most involved. One of my primary goals in such a meeting is to get the guys talking to each other and sharing some of their deeper feelings freely.”
Speckman noted that he was better able to engage a number of key people to assist the grieving people because of people’s prayers. “I had several people contact me with suggestions of appropriate counsellors in the area. One local counsellor even volunteered to accompany me on the primary debrief and was introduced to the club (that he had previously played for) for further help if needed by any of the players.”
“One of the local rodeo chaplains I had trained several years ago offered to go with me to the second team debrief (on Thursday) so that he could see how to run a fatality debrief. He also drove me back and forth to the country town where we held the debrief.
While Speckman acknowledged the importance of responding confidentiality and attentively as pastoral carers in sport he did acknowledge the utmost importance that “prayers were, and still are! profoundly (helpful) and appreciated.”