‘Purify My Motives’: Jonathan Isaac Reveals His Prayer as He Stood for the National Anthem

Photo via Jonathan Isaac/Instagram

‘Purify My Motives’: Jonathan Isaac Reveals His Prayer as He Stood for the National Anthem

By Movieguide® Contributor

In a recent CBN interview, NBA star Jonathan Isaac revealed what he prayed when he famously stood for the national anthem while his team kneeled in protest after the death of George Floyd.

“In the moment, I was trying my best to just do it humbly…as I’m standing there I’m thinking in my mind ‘God purify my motives. I want this to be about you. I don’t want this to be about Jonathan Isaac.’”

Isaac has continued to stand for the Gospel since then. In his recent book Why I Stand, he explains, “he could not find the answer to life’s many hardships when he looked to the world. ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the answer because he’s been the answer for me and I’m able to put it into a book and share my story and my testimony,’ Isaac told The Christian Post. ‘To me, that gives “the stand” its backbone,’” as Movieguide® previously reported.

Like many in 2020, Isaac faced a choice. “[I was watching] what happened to George Floyd and, as tragic as it was, trying to work through what is the best way to respond or if I need to respond at all,” Isaac said. “I was almost forced to because, once we get into the bubble, there is this immense pressure on NBA players to have to kneel for the National Anthem and wear a Black Lives Matter TV shirt.”

Instead of caving to pressure, Isaac “couldn’t think of a better message than the Gospel”—what he calls the “antidote” for “all the things that plague the hearts of man.”

“I know what the answer is going to be, and the answer is not going to be kneeling. The answer isn’t going to be a movement or an organization. The answer is going to be the hearts of men being changed—both white and black, both right and left,” he added.

Because of his convictions, Isaac decided to stand, and while he faced immense backlash, he continues to stand by his decision and the Gospel.

This choice stems from Isaac’s belief that Jesus commissioned Christians to take a stand for him even under pressure. For Isaac, it is a way to live out Christ’s call to take up his cross and follow him. “It is the narrow road. It is the road less traveled it. We are going to be persecuted at the end of the day the same way Jesus was.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Isaac’s stand for Christ: 

Isaac said that sharing your belief with others begins by standing up for those beliefs.

“So much of the book is about being willing and able to stand on what it is that you believe in,” he said. “What I’ve tried my best to do is think about what I’m saying and search myself if I really do believe it. I do, because of the things that I’ve experienced in my own life, and I’ve settled on the fact that I’m going to be willing to stand up and share my opinions the same way that someone else is standing up or kneeling for the national anthem to share theirs.”

“From the Christian perspective, we have all been at a place where we were outside of Christ,” he continued. “Ultimately, the only reason why we’re Christian in the first place is because God loved us first. God came after me. I wasn’t checking for him. Yes, justice is important and people should have to face the consequences of their actions. But I would want if I’m in a situation where my sin is caught on tape and everybody has seen it, I would want mercy in that situation. And so I’m going to give mercy in that situation.

“With everything that’s happening right now… there isn’t another answer outside of finding your identity in Christ. That is actually sustainable and worthwhile.”