Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles would not be starting in Sunday's NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings if he hadn't said a prayer two years ago.
At that point, Foles considered retirement. But his prayer and the resulting divine direction he received compelled the quarterback of Christian faith to "go back," he recently told the Washington Post.
"My heart said, 'Go back.' … I'm a better person because of that decision," Foles said in the article. "It wasn't an easy decision."
Because of his prayer, Foles joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 before coming back to Philadelphia this season. The former University of Arizona quarterback became the starter when Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury near the end of the season.
Foles elaborated about how close he was to retiring in 2016 in a CBSSports.com article.
"I really struggled," he told CBSSports.com. "I couldn't pick up a football for about eight months. I had no love for the game, and it was really tough."
His faith drove him back to the game. A scripture in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 12:9, along with prayer, helped him to make "the greatest decision he ever made" and "completely reinvigorated" his outlook on the game, he said.
"I kept reading scripture, I kept praying, I kept asking God," Foles said. "He was shaping me. He was bringing me down to my knees. … At that moment, through that prayer, He said, 'hey, just take a step of faith. You're either going to stop playing the game of football and you're going to go onto a different area of your life and I'm going to be with you, I'm going to be the most important thing in your life, or you're going to step back into football and you're going to continue to play and I'm going to be with you every step of the way and you're going to play to glorify me."
Starting in Sunday's big game, against his friend and former teammate, Case Keenum, is not a scenario Foles could have predicted.
"A few days ago, I just sat there with my wife and we just talked about how blessed we are to be in this moment," Foles said. "That’s a special thing. And that’s been the testament of this season."
To read the entire Washington Post article, click here.
To read the entire CBSSports.com article, click here.