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Football on the pitch
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'Oh God...': the Church's payer for the England football team

It's released a series of prayers for the tournament including one for the England football team which simply reads 'Oh God...'.

The prayers have been written by the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, who originally put some together during the last football World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

They include a message for the tournament as a whole:

Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others.

A prayer for Brazil:

God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup.
Smile on Brazil in her hosting,
on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party.

And even a prayer for those not interested.

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.

Speaking about the prayers, Bishop Nick said: "God is not partisan and there are bigger things to pray for around the world, not least in Iraq, Nigeria and Sudan to name but three.

"At its heart prayer is about expressing our desires honestly and having our vision of God, the world and one another changed by our praying.

"For the next few weeks at least the passions and hearts of millions of men, women and children around the world will be focused on Brazil, where I'm pretty sure there will be lots of prayers being offered up throughout the tournament.

"I know some have suggested it might take too much of a miracle for England to win the World Cup; we constantly over-rate, over-hype and over-anticipate England performance and then indulge in a collective intemperate bloodletting against team and manager when they fail to deliver on the big stage.

Bishop Nick has also written a second prayer for the England team:

"God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen."

The prayers come as the action kicks off in Brazil.

The first game between the host nation and Croatia turned into a controversial affair.

After conceding first, Brazil, with the help of a questionable penalty managed to win the game 3 -1.

Premier Youthwork Journalist Jamie Cutteridge is out in Brazil.

He told the News Hour what it was like to be in the country for the first game.

England get their campaign underway on Saturday night taking on Italy in Manaus.

For more World Cup related content head to

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