Back in November, members of the New Destiny Baptist Church in Detroit came together for an important prayer:
They will then travel to Ford Field, link hands and surround the stadium with a human chain of souls seeking intercession on behalf of the once-proud Lions.
They were praying for the success of the football team.
I wrote at the time:
You know, at some point, the Lions will probably have a winning season again. It won’t be this year. But all teams eventually start doing well. And that’s when (I’m sure) these Christians will step in to take the credit.
To paraphrase: Christians will take credit for shit they had nothing to do with — possibly the least surprising prediction anyone’s ever made.
But it came true sooner than I thought!
First, a quick stroll down the timeline.
The prayer happened on Thursday, November 25th.
The Lions lost later that day, 24-45, to the New England Patriots.
The following week, the Lions lost again. This time, 20-24, to the Chicago Bears. (You’re welcome for that.) At that point, their record was 2-10.
And then, they ended the season with four consecutive wins — all by a touchdown or less, against only one team that ended up in the playoffs.
The Lions ended the season with a 6-10 record — Nothing to be proud of… though I suppose it’s better than their previous season records of 2-14 (2009) and 0-16 (2008).
So who’s taking credit for the team’s “success”?
Rev. Horace L. Sheffield, III, pastor of that church…. of course:
“In the aftermath of the Lions’ loss on Thanksgiving Day, and one other subsequent one, many people chided us and ridiculed us suggesting that our prayers went unanswered and were simply in vain. Apparently, based on four victories in a row they were answered, just not immediately. Actually this delay in time between our prayers and His answer is actually were [sic] faith abides. We like to minimize the amount of time between wish and fulfillment. Sometimes God makes us wait. And what I’ve learned from this is that God’s delay is not always His denial. And faith provides with the means of patience as we wait for the reward and the answer to be manifested. All I have to say is — who’s laughing now -– Prayer DOES Changes Things –- and it has even changed the Lions. Therefore, we should never dismiss the power of prayer. Since it helped the Lions maybe we should start paying for Detroit’s failing 911 system and for more jobs for the unemployed.”
This was a win-win for the pastor, though. Had the Lions lost all their games, god’s wish would have simply been fulfilled in a future season, right?
The man’s still a laughingstock if he thinks his prayers were the reason the team won. It’s amazing to me that he still has a loyal congregation.
But now that the Lions are almost at a break-even record, I suppose Sheffield can now move on to his 2nd and 3rd priorities: the 911 system and unemployment.
(Thanks to Larry for the link!)