Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Friday, May 18, 2012

TEAM 413 Prayer Before Joplin Memorial Half

God used this sport of distance running to bless me in many ways. He showed me a way to use running to honor Amanda's memory. He uses it to channel my energy in a positive direction, energy that most likely would have been directed into negative and harmful activities after Amanda was killed. And through our running, I've been blessed to meet many wonderful new friends.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -- Philippians 4:13

Some of those friends are members of TEAM 413, a worldwide ministry that targets endurance athletes, including distance runners. The concept is pretty simple really, to wear a shirt emblazoned with the Bible verse Philippians 4:13 on the back and use it to witness for Jesus Christ. The shirt itself may be enough at times. I can't tell you how many people have passed me in races and said, "That's just what I needed to see right now." Other times, the shirt becomes an ice breaker, an invitation to other runners curious about our beliefs as Christians.

At the Little Rock Marathon earlier this year, I had the good fortune to meet several members of TEAM 413 before the race for a pre-race prayer. Those same runners will be at Joplin tomorrow and we're going to do it again. Hopefully others will hear and join us!

Click to view larger image

We're going to meet near the start line, in the area circled in red in the picture above, at 5:45 AM. Any and all who would like to join us are welcome. You don't have to be a member, and you don't even have to have a shirt. We'd love to have you join us to thank God for what He has done in our lives and for the progress made in the Joplin recovery effort, and to pray for the athletes and for those not yet fully recovered from the devastating losses suffered in last year's tornadoes.

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." -- Matthew 18:20

Jesus Christ gives me the strength, motivation, and discipline to keep running. Without Him, I couldn't run a marathon, a half marathon, not even a mile or a step. Tomorrow we'll gather at 5:45 AM, near the start in Joplin, to thank Him, to honor Him, and to glorify Him! We'd love for you to join us. Hope to see you there.

If you'd like to know more about TEAM 413, visit the website at You can also follow TEAM 413 on Facebook.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.


  1. If only I had seen your fb post last night. Would have loved to pray with you. Saw a couple 413 shirts when I was cheering on the runners. Hope you had a great time in my hometown.

    1. We had a great time and Joplin puts on one heck of a race. Hope we can come back next year and do it again!

  2. Thanks so much for this post, John! Y'all have become a part of TEAM 413 and I am so thankful. God bless all of you who run under the name TEAM 413. We are blessed!

    Chris Gillespie
    Founder & Executive Director

    1. You're welcome Chris! Love what you're doing with TEAM 413. Just wish we could do more to help. :) God bless you and the rest of TEAM 413!

  3. I stumbled upon this and love it! We were there at the Joplin Memorial run this year and at the prerace prayer. God willing, we will be back this year. Really enjoyed this blog and hope God will cross our paths sometime. Blessings to you.


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