Zaha: my parents had to drag me to church but now I pray all the time

Wilfried Zaha used to hate being made to go to church as a kid, but he’s glad his parents did it because now he prays all the time.
And the Crystal Palace front man doesn’t just pray in the bad times when he needs help but also in the good, he revealed in an exclusive video for Footballers Lives.
“I pray for everything really,” he said. “I feel that everything happens for a reason and you’ve just got to be mentally strong so I just keep my faith and pray if I’m going through a bad patch I know it will get better.
“The same way you pray during bad times, the same way you should pray during good times as well. Because obviously during bad times you’re asking God for this and that and when He gives you all these blessings or whatever, you forget to pray as well.
“So I’ve been praying from about the age of eight, nine. At that age my parents used to literally drag me to church whether I wanted it or not.
“But then it got into a routine where I just prayed all the time and I just carried on.
“After being annoyed at being woken up every Sunday and having to dress up early and go to church, I just thought: ‘You know what? I’m actually into this like. I believe in God’.
“And I’m glad my parents did that to me because it’s made a difference in my life.
“Obviously you go through testing periods where you think: ‘Am I by myself here?’ or whatever. But I’ve always ended up, because I’ve got family around me all the time so they’ve always said to just keep on praying no matter how bad it gets and the good times will come to you.”
Is religion spoken about openly among the players, but Zaha is not out to convert his team-mates?
“We do speak about it in the dressing room. I’ll speak to you about Christianity or whatever if you enquire about it but I’m not the type of Christian that will be down your throat about: ‘Yeah, you need to pray.
“You need to do this’. Because it’s like you’re a man, you can make your own decisions.”