I know it has been way too long since I have blogged. Trust me I have tried!!! If you have followed me from the start you already know that I have shared our journey from the beginning of my husband’s baseball career in the blogs. But I am now to present day in our journey and well….I just can’t process all the emotions and lessons learned while living through it. I guess reflecting back works better for me.
So for now in honor of baseball season being right around the corner, I thought it might be the perfect time to share how I pray for Brian.
Many of you have messaged me with the question, “How do I encourage my husband/child?”. I know all too well the difficulty that this can bring. We are their number one supporters and we so desperately want them to never feel defeat or failure.
Before I give what I think is the answer to this question, I have to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to share what I have learned. And even more importantly a big applaud to you for taking the time to ask! Your influence can be as big or as small as you make it in their lives! And even though it may not always seem like it, your encouraging impact is greatly needed.
So you probably already know what my answer is …… yes..PRAYER!!!
Prayer I believe is the best way to encourage them for many reasons. Prayer covers our own hearts with peace so that they can feel our faith and confidence through our responses. Let’s face it, in moments that they need us the most we are actually having our own meltdowns worrying about them. Prayer allows your perspective to keep your emotions on lock down! I learned a long time ago that I could never find the perfect words for Brian on my own during the rough times. Once I began to rely on prayer I would be lead to a certain scripture or some encouraging words would be put on my heart that I could share with him. Nothing is more healing than the love and truth that comes from the Word of God!
Before I share how I pray for Brian I want to warn you that some of the ways or things I pray for may seem weird or even a little silly to you. That is totally ok! We are all different with different prayer needs. I don’t think your prayers should be exactly like mine, but I want to share it all with you because there might be that one little thing that I do that is exactly what you needed to read today.
When we first got married I knew very little about how to pray and little about baseball. My prayers were pretty short and sweet. They often sounded like, “Please don’t let the ball smack Brian in the face and please keep him safe while traveling”.
All my prayers were out of fear. My lack of a relationship with Jesus lead me to worries. And to be honest I never felt guilty asking for safety. I always thought those were considered unselfish prayers so surely they will be answered. Clearly I had a lot to learn in the prayer department. Me and Brian both did. I think it’s important to know that no matter where your are on your faith journey that your prayers are not only heard, but have power! Believing in that is key! A prayer without belief is more like a wish.
You might have already guessed that I pray a lot. And I have HUGE belief! BUT one of my daily prayers is for Him to strengthen my own faith and then I ask for forgiveness of my unbelief! Don’t be ashamed to admit and ask if you too struggle with this! After all He already knows your heart.
So fast forward lots of prayer growth for Brian and I …
We learned to bring everything to Him! In return we were given peace and strength like never before! There is no doubt that without our faith we would have walked away from Brian’s dream years ago. In our own strength the grass looked greener on the other side many times. The pressure to succeed can be crippling and the pain of failure can make it very difficult to continue. Sometimes a seasons theme song should be, ” I get knocked down, but I get up again!!”. And even in the mist of a successful seasons the pressures to continue at that level are overwhelming. Through prayer we were always renewed and our trust and belief grew with each set back and every accomplishment!
My first prayer request before the season starts is for Brian’s teammates. I ask God to give Brian at least one teammate that can be a brother in Christ. This is HUGE!!! Being strong in our faith is difficult in the sports arena. And as much as I know and understand all of Brian’s emotions that he will go through in the course of the season, there are many times that even I may not be able to relate to what he is going through. God has always been very faithful to this prayer! Brian has had the chance to play with some amazing guys who have helped him grow in Christ.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Once the season begins I pray more specific prayers for Brian as a player. And I have to apologize that I do not know who to give credit to for all these prayer suggestions. I certainly can not take any for them. I can only take credit for knowing that I needed major help and found it in HIM! Everything I share with you today I either read it, heard it, or the Spirit allowed me to feel it.
I have always loved coming across a scripture that applied to what I was needing to pray for. I would pray that scripture over Brian in my quiet times and probably hundreds of times while he pitched. He played. I prayed! It was all I could control in moments that can make you feel helpless. I knew I was fully doing all I could to do to support him. And it’s how I found peace and joy no matter the results! The stronger my prayer life grew to be the more I could sit back and enjoy the crazy ride baseball had us on.
A scripture that I turned into a prayer for Brian is in Luke. It speaks of Jesus growing in wisdom and stature and in favor of God and man. I would pray that Brian would too grow in these areas. To have wisdom and stature on and off the field so that he would have an impact for the Kingdom. And the favor of God and man so that he wouldn’t lose his job….hahaha! Seriously!! Baseball is a business and very much treated like a business. This prayer helped me to remember who is in charge! That God has the power to put us where He needs us.
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
Last year I read a book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. It is about praying circles around our biggest dreams and fears. He goes into great detail of how and why praying promises from the bible in our own lives is so important and powerful. If you haven’t read yet I strongly encourage you to. He actually prays Luke 2:52 for his children.
Another prayer that I pray daily for Brian is for him to have a faith as strong as Moses. Now I know the Bible is filled with tons of people with huge faith, but I love the story of the Red Sea. My prayer is that when Brian is faced with his own “Red Sea” that his faith never would doubt that God had already made a way for him to cross it!! For example a baseball type Red Sea might be bases loaded with no outs. As a pitcher that can be a pretty lonely place on the mound. My prayer is that Brain in those moments never feels alone out there. That he has confidence in God and himself to overcome!
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. …The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
In the middle of what seemed like a hopeless ending Moses stands firm in knowing God will protect. But in the very next scripture we see God answer Moses.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
I love that we get to see that even though Moses believed God would provide a way he also cried out to Him. I pray that in those hopeless feeling moments that Brian always remembers to go straight to God crying for help instead of trying to do it all on his own. I pray he is overwhelmed with a confidence that God is for him!
Another prayer from scripture I pray is from the book of Joshua. After Moses dies the Lord promises to be with Joshua as He was with Moses.
” I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Now I realize that praying for Brian to own every field his foot touches would be crazy. So when I pray this prayer it is for him to have success on every field his feet touch. But I am not just praying for baseball defined success. I’m praying for success on and off of the field! Prayers that Brian can be a light on the mound and in the locker room. The success on the field helps give a platform and is icing on the cake, but the success off the field is what leaves a true legacy.
Here is where my prayer might seem silly..hehehe! But I think it’s fun! I love how God used David’s learned talent of a sling shot to overcome a giant! This fits perfectly with Brian’s relentless discipline and work ethic. He practiced his skill and always tried to get better. Ok and I know that technically the other team is not trying to kill him, but sometimes it can feel like life or death out there. Ask any athlete and I’m sure they would agree! So yes I pray that God uses Brian’s arm and a ball to defeat his opponent. It took Brian a long time to understand that his dream of playing professional baseball didn’t have to be a selfish dream that God couldn’t use. Once he realized that dream was planted in his heart from God to serve a purpose it was a total game changer for him. He was no longer pitching for himself or the approval of others. The game got fun again! So this prayer is big to me. Nothing cooler than God using your passion for His will!
But there is one more reason to why I find this story in Bible so relatable to my prayer. When you have the time read 1 Samuel 17. You will read the story of David defeating Goliath. You find that David first dressed himself in armor, a helmet, and a sword like all the other soldiers. Then he realizes he can not go out like that because he wasn’t use to it. He wanted to use the skills he had already mastered. This is huge for a ballplayer as well. It’s so important that they find what their strength is and be the best they can at it instead of trying to be like someone else. I love how confident David was in himself and knowing the protection that God would give him. It’s as if David knew with his whole heart what his purpose was. Knowing that removes the fear!
Now I would be lying if I said I never prayed for an occasional strike out or double play, but for the most part I pray for a healthy heart and body! When your heart is in the right place and your body is healthy to do what it knows to do the successful results come. And I will be honest my prayers over matters of the heart are usually always answered and quick! The prayers of numbers and results never hurt, but they may not always match His plan. God wants to know and listen to all our prayer needs, but we have to be open to His answers. He sees the bigger picture that we can’t see.
For example this past spring training I began to pray every morning for God to do something so big through Brian during the season that it would be so obvious that it was His work! I also prayed that Brian would play a huge role in winning a Championship. Boy did I wish I was more specific as to where I would have liked that all to take place..LOL!!!! Because He answered big time, but unfortunately He did not think any of it needed to take place in the big leagues. I am so thankful that our pride was broken years ago so that the we didn’t turn into “Bitter Bobs”. We were able to just enjoy the game!
I will spare you all the baseball stuff. But just know that what Brian was asked to do last year could be labeled tough and the success he had while doing it was nothing short of a miracle. He would be the first to tell you that there was no way he could have done what he did without the favor of God on him. He had to completely rely on the strength of the Lord. It was so fun to watch!! All glory is His!
The season was coming to an end and his team had a losing record so the chances of the playoffs were extremely thin. Maybe Brian playing in a championship game wasn’t going to happen after all. But then God made it happen! Every crazy little thing that needed to happen for them to advance actually happened. They would go on to win the Triple A Championship! With a losing record for the season they won the entire thing! Only God!
I hope that some of you find this helpful or at least a guiding point to find your own prayers and words of encouragement. Being on this journey is so fun and so hard all at the same time.
I also have a list of prayers I pray for myself through out the season so that I am strong enough for Brian and the kids! It has taken me a month to find an hour to type this out so I will get back to you all on that one as soon as I figure out how to be a mommy of three…help!!!
This is such an exciting time of anticipation, hope, and change! Best of luck and lots of prayers to everyone!
Prayer for today:
God you hear our prayers. You know our thoughts and our desires. Guide our hearts as we encourage our ballplayers. Please give us the words they need to hear. I ask this today in Jesus’ name!
oh and p.s. God — please hush us if we need to be hushed 😉
YIKES!! One more thing I almost forgot…. I always pray for the whole team to be at their best! Baseball is such a team effort. They feed off of each other. I know in professional sports this can be a grey area because your best friend can also be your biggest competition. But remember if we truly believe God is in control then the greatness of our teammate shouldn’t have the power to stop His will for us! Praying for other’s success will bless you more than you could ever imagine!