Don’t let anyone tell you vocal and public prayer is illegal in the NBA.
Earlier this week, Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams and his team squared off against Stephen Silas’ Houston Rockets. There are 82 games for each team in the regular season, but this past Tuesday’s contest was the first one for Coach Silas since the death of his father, Paul, who was also a player and beloved coach in the league.
The Rockets won Tuesday night’s matchup, and just after the final buzzer, Williams approached Silas for the customary postgame handshake. The two men embraced in front of the scorer’s table and exchanged a few words. Williams then pulled Silas in for another hug, and then proceeded to pray for him right there on the court.
Monty Williams is a strong Christian believer, and obviously someone unafraid to publicly express and practice his faith.
“The essence of my coaching is to serve,” Coach Williams said at a postgame press conference last year. “As a believer in Christ, that’s what I’m here for. And I tell my players all the time, ‘If I get on you, I’m not calling you out; I’m calling you up. You have potential, and I have to work my tail off to help you reach that potential.’”
Monty Williams is also well familiar with heartache.
Back in 2016, his wife, Ingrid, was killed in a head-on car accident by a woman high on drugs. He publicly forgave her.
“In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.”
“Monty is … one of the best people in the world,” Stephen Silas said after the game. “It means a lot. He’s been through so much and has so many little tidbits and so many experiences that he’s drawn from. But he has a great way of communicating and tonight his way of communicating was through a hug. Which I needed. And I love him for that. He’s a good man.”
As Christians, it’s a privilege to pray, and especially to bring Christ’s comfort via our prayers to hurting people. Monty Williams’ spontaneous and public prayer is a good reminder to not let a public setting dissuade or prevent us from doing likewise. Instead of saying, “I will pray for you,” it might be a good idea to pray right then and there.
You can see the heartwarming exchange here.