Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: David Ledbetter - Stay Alert

“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” —Colossians 3:10

In this chapter, Paul is writing to the church in Colossae, encouraging them to continue believing and pursuing God. He just finished writing about living in the new life of the Holy Spirit and letting it transform you.

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” — Colossians 4:2

My attention falls on this verse because of his call to pray with an alert mind — that is convicting!

There are so many times when I feel like I am merely going through the motions and neglecting to fix my attention on God. I find myself not talking to Him about what I really want to talk about and, instead of staying focused, I lose my train of thought and just … ramble.

Every week, I try to get together with the same group of guys for breakfast. The focus of our time together is to talk about the important things in life. How are the families? What have we learned this week about life and adapting to different circumstances? Where can we grow? How can we become better men? Where is our walk with Jesus and what do we feel the Holy Spirit telling us? We talk about the big stuff!

When I meet with those guys and begin a conversation, they expect me to stay attentive and prepared. I’m coming into the get-together with an alert mind. I want to be able to bring something to, and take something from, the conversation. We can talk about anything and, in doing so, we sharpen one another so that we may develop and mature as Christ-like men.

Is it not the same with prayer? Is prayer not a time where God chisels our hearts and prepares us for the rigors and victories of life?

Of course it is! God continues to change our hearts through the Living Word. Reading God’s Word and spending time with Him in prayer are two activities that work in tandem. And only when we’re alert in mind can we truly be changed in heart.

I love this description of prayer:

“Prayer and the Word have one common center — God. Prayer seeks God; the Word reveals God. In prayer, man asks God; in the Word, God answers man. In prayer, man rises into the heavenlies to dwell with God; in the Word, God comes to dwell with man. In prayer, man gives himself to God; in the Word, God gives Himself to man. Make God the one object of your desire. Then prayer and the Word will interchange and a blessed fellowship with God will take place. God will dwell in you and you in God.  Seek God and live!” —excerpt from “The Inner Chamber” by Andrew Murray.

This can happen when we have an alert mind and a thankful heart. We are to be alert in His Word and attuned to His guidance, thankful for His sacrifice and grateful for His constant love.

It’s not a one-time deal, it’s a lifetime’s journey.

Stay alert!

David Ledbetter, minor league baseball pitcher

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.