Chiefs’ Harrison Butker, Mark Wahlberg, other stars promote 40 days of prayer via app

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Last year Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker spent the days after winning the Super Bowl in silent prayer.

This year, he’s encouraging believers to use an app for that.

Butker has joined Mark Wahlberg, Mario Lopez, “The Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel and other Catholic celebrities to promote a 40-day prayer challenge on Hallow, which claims to be the No. 1 prayer app in the world.

They kicked off the campaign last week, posting social media images of themselves wearing ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The 40 days of prayer, fasting and abstinence prepare Christians for the celebration of Easter.

It was also the day of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade and rally in Kansas City, which ended in a mass shooting that left a Chiefs fan dead and dozens injured.

“Today is Ash Wednesday the start of Lent,” Butker said in an Instagram post made at Union Station before the shooting. “I had to keep Christ number one by going to Mass this morning. I got my ashes as you can see.

“I want to encourage everyone to grow closer to Christ this Lenten season. Mark (Wahlberg) might say, ‘stay prayed up,’ but I’m saying ‘Christus Regnat’ — ‘Christ is King’!”

The Catholic prayer app aired its first commercial during the Super Bowl and saw the biggest spike in downloads in its history, CEO and Hallow co-founder Alex Jones told the Catholic News Agency. The 30-second ad starred Wahlberg encouraging football fans to pray during Lent.

Butker has worked with Hallow for at least a couple of years now, one of several athletes who lead listeners in prayer on the app.

This Lent, subscribers can pray with Butker, NBA star Jrue Holiday, Olympic gymnast Grace McCallum, MLB pitcher Trevor Williams, Hall of Fame college coach Lou Holtz and others.

Butker leads listeners through three prayers about growing faith under pressure, something he knows well.

He sealed the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win last year with a 27-yard field goal in the last seconds of the game and set two Super Bowl records in this year’s win.

In an August 2020 interview after the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years, Butker described how his “faith is the most important thing to me. From there, it goes to being a great husband and a great father, and then I look to football and trying to be the best football player I can be.

“But it definitely helps keep perspective on the fact that God’s got me in this arena playing football for a reason.”

He was handed another reason last week.

The lone death in the shooting at Union Station, Johnson County mom and disc jockey Lisa Lopez-Galvan, had worn a white Butker jersey to the rally.

Her family put out a call on social media looking for another Butker jersey to bury her in.

Through a series of connections, the request reached the kicker — her favorite Chiefs player — who provided the jersey.

“Hearing that she was a fan of my outspokenness for our shared Catholic Faith makes this even more personal,” Butker said in a statement.

“While the family is mourning their loss and grappling with their numerous injuries, I will continue to pray for their healing and the repose of Lisa’s soul.”