8 Strong Prayers for Runners

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Emma

Are you looking for prayers for runners?  Do you want to pray about running a race?

Running for any distance at all has many benefits.  Even if you’ve never run before, you could likely start today,  barring any major health conditions or restrictions from your doctor.

Whether you are an experienced runner or a newcomer to it, there’s something about putting one foot in front of the other in a rhythmic pace that is soothing and helpful.  But, have you ever considered praying before or after you go on a run?  Is it worth praying before you run in a competitive race?

Since you can pray to God about anything, why would you not want to join your physical action of running with the spiritual discipline of praying? Praying before or during any workout is a great practice that can help you get more from any exercise routine.

These eight quick prayers for running can help you do just that.  You can find the one that is what you want to pray for.  You can also modify any of the prayers to suit your specific circumstances.  Consider these prayers the starting line of your prayer journey with running.

You can also incorporate scripture as a means to encourage you as you run.  Perhaps you can memorize a verse or two and recite them before, or as, you run.

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12.1, NIV).

The concept of following Jesus in terms of a race or of running is found throughout scripture, which makes sense, doesn’t it?  As we journey along with Christ there are challenges to face and times to rest and recuperate.  This is much like it is with running. You build up your endurance the more you run and sometimes you have to persevere and exercise self-disciple to break through.

As the prophet Isaiah reminds us:

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.(Isaiah 40.28-31, NIV).

Putting your hope in God is best done as you pray.  The mere act of praying signifies that you know you can’t do it on your own.  May God reveal himself to you in deeper ways as you pray and run, and run and pray.

Short Prayer Before Going On a Run

Dear God, I pray for my run this morning.  May I enjoy the privilege and blessing of being able to move around fully and run and exercise.  May I be able to express my gratitude to you for the nice weather, good health, and the beauty of creation I will see.

Thank you for helping me have the discipline to put this into my day.  I always feel better when I run.  May you keep me safe from vehicles and from injury along the way.  In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Prayer After Going On a Run

Lord, what a wonderful morning I have experienced as I ran.  My body felt good and all soreness was gone as I finished.  Thank you for creating humans with endorphins, as they are flowing in me right now.  Thank you for my friend who nudged me into running a few years ago.

I give you praise for my health that allows me to go on a run and for how you have kept me free from injury.  Help my body cool down as I stretch and move on into my day.  I thank you through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Prayer Before a 5K Race

Dear Lord, I am running in a 5K race tomorrow and I felt like I needed to lift it to you in prayer.  Although this is not my first race, it is the first race I have run in several months.  So, I pray that I warm up properly so my muscles are loose and ready.

I pray against any injury and to have a good race.  I just want to go out and see where my time is after being out of racing for so long. I thank you for the blessing of mobility to be able to do this.  In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Prayer Before a 10K Race

Six point two miles, God.  That’s what I am running later this week.  I’ve run several 5K races and I have done okay, but this is two of those all together.  I have been training and slowly building up my mileage so I think I’m prepared.

I just don’t want to tank and not complete the race, Lord.  Help my stamina and help me keep it in perspective.  I’m not an elite runner, but I do want to run the whole race and not get injured.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer Before a Half Marathon

I’ve ventured out in faith Lord and have signed up to do a half marathon.  I know there is a lot of training to do in the coming weeks but I feel like this is something I need to do in my running journey.

I pray that you fill me with the desire to complete the training and run the race.  I’m not interested in how fast I run, but more in the challenge of running this long of a race.  I pray to be healthy and free from injury that would prevent me from running this half marathon. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Prayer Before a Marathon

Dear God, I have come to the end of my training for the last several months and tomorrow I am actually running a full marathon.  I can’t believe I’m going to run 26.2 miles in one go!  I thank you for how healthy and strong I feel tonight, Lord.

I pray for stamina and fueling and energy tomorrow.  I pray that I run through the fatigue that may come.  Keep my muscles and tendons free from injury so that I may finish the race.  I don’t care about my time, but I do care about finishing.  By your strength I know I can do this through Jesus, Amen.

Prayer While Running

Lord Jesus Christ, I give you thanks today as I run.  Just the feeling of praying words to you as my feet hit the pavement has a wonderful cadence in my soul.  Thank you for energy my body has to do this and how my muscles react as I use them and push them in running.  Thank you the blessing of health and enjoyment I get as I run. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Prayer Before Running Your First Race

Dear God, I am running my first ever competitive race tomorrow.  I’ve been training and running alone for many weeks now, but I’ve never run in a pack with other runners.  I don’t want to get caught up in all the feet and legs and fall down.  Help me to run my race and not worry about other runners who are faster than me or who are passing me.  I just want to run the whole race and finish well and not have any injuries.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Concluding Thoughts

If you have ever run a race to the finish line, you know the exhilaration of completing the race with a burst of energy.  You know that you did something of measure; you achieved something worthwhile.  The Apostle Paul uses this imagery to encourage us in our journey of faith with Christ.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4.7, NIV).

And again in his letter to the church in Corinth, he centers on the reality that our eternal prize is not a medal, but the crown of life:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9.24-27, NIV).

Running as exercise is good for our health, that is for sure. Running also gives us a tangible way to help us understand the life of faith.  As we move forward we grow closer to God.  The Psalmist underscores this reality:

I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding” (Psalm 119.31-32, NIV).

As you pray about your running, may the God of all understanding guide you into a deeper grasp of how high and how wide and how deep and how long is his love for you.  Keep on running and keep on praying! After all, there’s no limit to how often you can pray!