“Coach, will you pray I hit the ball?” The request caught me off guard as I entered the dugout full of 9- and 10-year-olds. The purity of his request reminded me of why Jesus used the faith of little children as a metric for adults to aspire to.
I let the boys voluntarily pray before each game. We’ve had a variety of requests lifted up. “God, please let us not be bad sports after we win.” “Let both teams win tonight.” My all-time favorite was, “Lord, please don’t let our coaches get kicked out of the game tonight.”
In order to appreciate his request, you need to understand Colin’s story. Colin is a great hitter. He just doesn’t know it. At the beginning of the season, he got hit by the ball at practice and it causes him to be timid at the plate and not swing the bat. Instead of seeing each ball being pitched as an opportunity, he sees it as a potential threat. Do you blame him? That ball hurts when it hits you, and 9- and 10-year-olds aren’t blessed with the ability to throw it straight every time!
I looked into his eyes and said, “God will do his part, but you have to do yours. Swing the bat!”
Maybe there is a lesson to learn in that prayer for us. God will do his part, but we have to do ours. He has given us the great privilege of partnering with Him as He redeems the world. We pray that God will change the heart of someone close to us and that He will transform the life of our friend who is headed in the wrong direction. We pray that God will help those in need in our community.
If we pray for Him to move, we must be willing to move ourselves. God may want us to be the answer to our own prayer. Something happens when our prayers shift from “God, save my friend, John,” to “God give me an opportunity to serve my friend, John, and tell him about Jesus.”
Maybe he wants you to step up to the plate, face your fears, show someone the love of Christ, and swing the bat by telling them the gospel.
Jesus believes in you! He has entrusted you with His most precious treasure and the greatest story of all time. He believes more in you than you believe in Him. Step in there, and swing the bat!
At Colin’s next bat, you’ve never seen a coach so excited to see a ball player strike out. He stood his ground and swung the bat. It’s only a matter of time before he connects.
Swing the bat!