Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Can prayer really help Muamba?

We were all shocked to hear that Bolton player Fabrice Muamba had collapsed on the pitch during the club’s FA Cup quarter-final match against Spurs on Saturday.

The 23-year-old suffered a heart attack and has been in intensive care ever since.

Although it’s incredibly sad that this has happened, it’s been really moving to see how his fiancée, family, friends, fans and fellow footballers have responded. Many appealed for fans to pray for the footballer as he fights for his life and it's great to hear he is showing signs of improvement.

Fiancée Shauna Magunda’s tweets read: "Fabrice WILL!! Pull through because God is good. Love u so much @fmuamba keep strong we're praying for u honey xx”; "God is in control. Please keep @fmuamba in ur prayers xx”; and "Please keep praying for @fmuamba its really helping I can feel it xx".

Manager Owen Coyle said: "Everybody is praying for Fabrice, which is very important, and that has been a real source of strength to the family”, while Chelsea defender Gary Cahill lifted up his jersey to reveal a vest urging fans to "Pray 4 Muamba" after scoring against Leicester on Sunday.

Even the tabloids looked towards the heavens on Muamba’s behalf. Headlines from the Sun and the Daily Star read: "God is in Control" and “In God's Hands", respectively.

But does prayer really work? Isn’t it just a bit of superstition that people cling to when something bad happens?

Well the Bible cites plenty of examples of effective prayer for healing:
  • “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you (2 Kings 20:5)
  • Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up (Acts 9:40)
  • His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him (Acts 28:8)
  • Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up (James 5:13-15)

You may not be a Bible believer, but for those that are, the evidence is fairly conclusive: prayer works and we should be committed to praying for the sick and injured.

But you don’t have to be a Bible believer to do it. The best case scenario is that the person you pray for gets healed; the worst is that you ‘waste’ a few minutes.

Even if the prayer doesn’t seem to have been answered, spending time praying with others can help to bring friends and family members into unity, help to give them strength and enable them to keep things in perspective.

Maybe you still think prayer is a complete waste of time – feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Or perhaps you’ve experienced an answer to prayer – either in terms of healing or otherwise – that you’d like to share. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In the meantime, I’ll keep praying that Muamba makes a complete recovery and is able to give the glory for his complete healing to the God that made him.

Read more from Joy in the next issue of Sorted magazine – coming soon!


  1. Rubbish... When people recover it's thanks to years of extensive medical research and skillful doctors. Not some divine entity.

  2. Your rubbish Mr/Ms Anonymous is my faith. I gree that yers of research and skill can help the sick but then so, I believe, can prayer.