THE INCREASE: Taking the Time – Luke Weaver

Prayer is such an important thing, if not the most important thing about my relationship with God. Prayer allows us to articulate to God what we’re thinking, what we’re thankful for, and what we hope for. Not that God doesn’t already know all these things — He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves — but He wants us to be in communication with Him. Taking the time to talk to Him, whether out loud or in my head, pleases God and brings us peace.

I continually fall short in my prayer life. Actual life gets in the way. It can be challenging to take the time to quiet your heart and mind and focus on prayer. Sometimes for me, I have to set an alarm on my phone during the day to remind me to stop whatever I’m doing and spend time to intentionally talk with God.

It’s often easier to remember to pray when you’re going through a trial or you’ve experienced a failure of some kind. We know God’s there to listen; He’s the ultimate comforter who provides inner peace that surpasses circumstances. But God doesn’t only want to hear from us when things go wrong. It doesn’t matter how big or how little your prayers are, they are important to Him and He listens to you.

I remember praying about the hurricane that hit our area recently — asking God to end the devastation and keep the people safe. Then another one came, and another. Then the earthquakes hit. Then the wildfires. And the mass shooting. It seemed to never end. So much happened in so short of a time. I remember sitting there just desperately wanting to know why, but I couldn’t understand. Instead of trying to reason, I just continued to pray to God. I prayed for the people that were suffering and I prayed that God’s light would shine in the midst of a very dark time.

Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered and we can’t begin to fathom why, but we have to accept the fact that God is sovereign. If we quiet our minds to listen to Him and trust in His plan, we can have peace even when our prayers aren’t answered in the way we might have hoped. Ultimately our prayer should always be, “God be glorified.”

How can we trust God even when things don’t go our way? It takes faith. We need to have faith that the God of the Heavens and the earth will provide just as He always has and always will. Our plans may or may never come to fruition, but we have nothing to worry about because we have a God who knows exactly what we need when we need it.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” — Jeremiah 29:11

During the offseason I really want to be intentional about keeping the line of communication open between my teammates and I. When I receive a text from someone out of the blue letting me know they’re praying for me, I’m so blessed. It gives me instant joy to know that, 1) My friend is relying on God for help, and 2) They’re putting someone else’s needs before their own, which is what we are all called to do. This challenges me to do the same for others.

Prayer is a continual conversation with God. I don’t want to simply pray the same repetitive prayer at the start of a meal — one that means almost nothing to us or God. Recently I’ve been challenging myself to not just pray because I feel like I need to, but because I want to. We’ll always have the challenge of making prayer a more intrical part of our lives, not just talking at God, but having a genuine conversation with our Father.

Luke Weaver

Luke Weaver is a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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