A military chaplain gave a powerful opening prayer before the Army-Navy football game over the weekend that has since been making the rounds on social media.
Chaplain Col. Matthew Pawlikowski of the United States Military Academy at West Point started his invocation Saturday with his compelling reason for praying before a football game.
"God of Wonders, some wonder why we pray for a football game. So I tell them, in this game, every player on the field is willing to die for every person watching," Pawlikowski said. "And there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for what's truly good. And so, God, I do pray for these players, on this field, and all the good they represent."
His prayer was a reference to the New Testament verse John 15:13.
President Donald Trump, who was on hand for the game, handled the coin toss at the 119th annual rivalry match between the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen.
Army beat Navy 17-10 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. It was Army's third win in a row.
What else did the chaplain say?
"Their fellow cadets and midshipmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, firefighters, first responders, police, and countless others who lay down their lives daily in our defense," he continued. "Because in your eyes, Oh God, it is not the critic who counts, but those who actually step into the arena,"
"And so, Almighty God, we who are willing to die for others, we salute you. Let this game begin. Amen," Pawlikowski closed the invocation.
What was the crowd's reaction?
The crowd burst into cheers following Pawlikowski's petition to God for the safety of all the players, according to the Western Journal.
In 2016, Pawlikowski was seen praying the rosary on the sidelines of the Army-Navy game.
"I always pray for both our teams, for no serious injury on either team. And I pray for the kids on both teams, and just for their holiness and their salvation," Pawlikowski told the Catholic News Agency. "And then I ask for Army's victory."