Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr praised his parents for teaching him to make his faith his priority and said that, as a child, he wouldn’t play if a game fell on a Sunday.

The quarterback told Tauren Wells in an interview on “The High Note” podcast, “I was raised in the church. My grandpa was a pastor; my uncle was a pastor; my other grandpa was a deacon, my dad was a deacon, my mom’s a worship leader, my grandma is a pastor.”

Carr, who was born in California, said, “My mom and my dad, they taught me that my faith was number one.” He added, “If there was a game on Sunday, as a kid, we always told my traveling coach, ‘I’m not gonna be there, I’m gonna be at church.’ They made the priorities, the priorities. And it worked out for me; I made it to the NFL. So all these moms and dads that say, ‘No, we have to go to your games at eight years old,’ you know, ‘it’s OK to miss one.’”

Carr told Wells, who’s also the worship leader at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, that he personally accepted Jesus when he was at college and credited Pastor Mattie Montgomery from the Christian band For Today for helping him grow in his faith.

The quarterback also shared how God recently led him to pray for a female photographer during a golf tournament, the American Century Championship. “I felt the Lord telling me, ‘I want you to pray for that lady,’” Carr said.

derek carr
AllProReels/Wikimedia Commons

“She was limping, and I knew she was going to have to walk all day and take pictures and all this kind of stuff. And so, I shared a story about how my mom was recently healed. I said, ‘Can I just pray for you?’ And she goes ‘absolutely.’ … So I prayed with her. And the next day, she comes back, and she’s like … ‘Hey, you prayed for me. I walked for three and a half hours, took pictures [and] I had no pain, all the pain left. … I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’

“I was like, ‘Praise God.’ Even though we had fun at golf, that was the victory that weekend.” In 2013, Derek’s son, Dallas, underwent successful emergency surgery at Valley Children’s Healthcare in Fresno, California. As a newborn, Dallas was born with a life-threatening abnormality called intestinal malrotation that could have caused the blood supply to his intestinal tract to be cut off.

Children may not understand why their parents do some things, but when they get older, everything starts making sense. When Derek Carr was younger, he probably thought his parents were overreacting by not letting him play on Sundays. Little did he know, he would go on to play in the NFL despite their decision. By making faith a priority for Derek, everything else fell into place.

It’s also a good thing that Derek’s coaches never held this decision against him and his family. Faith can take you to great places if you allow it.

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