In the past, as each season winds down, everything else seems to wind down with it — sometimes even my quiet time with the Lord. Life goes on and doesn’t revolve around a baseball season. In every sense, you have to be intentional to stay disciplined in taking care of your body, your walk with the Lord and your relationships, truly relying on Him even when you don’t have the same structure you’re used to. This requires that I seek the Lord and continue to ask Him to help me rely on Him more and more.
Our season ends each year, but He still calls me to stay strong. God is growing me in so many ways in faith, life, marriage and parenting, and I don’t want to miss it! There will be a time when our team plays beyond September and into October, so I also need to be ready and preparing for that.
Being faithful in the Word during the offseason is not a problem for me because I’ve learned to be intentional about finding a rhythm with Him. The offseason has its own structure; I’m home more, able to go to church with my family and spend more time with my wife, diving into the Word and growing in my faith. As we study together and push each other to draw nearer to Christ, we are able to truly invest in each other.
It’s nice knowing that you will be able to wake up in your own bed each morning, instead of being on the road every other week, and you can go to the same place with a cup of coffee to read your Bible. This allows me to set up my day by getting close to the Lord, preparing to face whatever the day ahead may hold. So though I may not have the daily community of my teammates, God brings structure and community to keep me rooted in Him.
God’s been teaching me how to truly surrender to Him in prayer every single day. In the past, I wasn’t very good at this. The offseason especially would throw me off. But now, whether I’m driving to the field, on the field, or at home, I am able to be in prayer with Him, truly asking in faith for Him to work in different and specific ways — bold prayers. When I’m consistent and faithful in this, I see His power at work and my prayers come to fruition.
Sometimes that means God places prayers on my heart to pray, or changes the prayers I’ve been focusing on. One prayer He’s given me a passion and heart to pray is for the city of Detroit and for our team. I pray the Holy Spirit over our team and locker room every single day. I ask that we would come out full of optimism and energy. God has made the needs of our city evident to me and I’m led to pray that His hope and faith would be instilled in this city. I pray passionately that His love and Spirit would saturate the stadium and anyone who enters it. I pray that our team would be an embodiment of Him.
Each one of us on the team is at a different place with our faith in God. This year I’ve been so encouraged to watch my teammates grow in their walk with Christ in many different ways. I see changes in how they talk and how they go about their business day to day. Yes, our goal is always to win the World Series and I know that God will lead us there some day, but He is also leading us to grow in many other ways — eternal ways.
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers 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 TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.