The Athlete's Secret
“When you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” –Matthew 6:6
What’s the secret of an athlete? Speed? Strength? Size? Training? Any of those will provide an edge, but none are the real secret. The most powerful secret of an athlete is actually a spiritual discipline—prayer. When was the last time we really pressed into prayer? Not the prayers that say, “God, help me with the big game today,” or, “Help me to play well.” I’m talking about intense prayer—a time of truly seeking God’s face and asking for His will.
Many athletes may want to pray but simply don’t know how. Here are eight simple tips for praying:
- Reveal, don’t tell. Don’t report to God what He already knows. Let Him reveal what we don’t know.
- Shut the door. Find a place of solitude to meet God daily.
- Open our mouths. Do not think our prayers, but say them out loud. A spoken prayer slows down thoughts.
- Prepare our hearts. Listen to worship music to prepare for prayer.
- Pray Scripture. Pick a Psalm and pray it out loud.
- Petition. Devotion. Intercession. Ask God for our wants. Seek Him. Pray for others’ needs.
- Journal it. Write our prayers in a journal.
- Find a prayer partner. Find a partner (maybe a teammate) to pray with each week.
1. Out of the eight tips, what is one that you can start developing?
2. How can authentic prayer be a part of your competition?
Psalm 66:18; Matthew 18:19-20; Mark 11:24-25; James 5:16
Lord, I admit that prayer is often hard for me. My mind wanders, and it is hard to focus. Today, I ask You to develop in me a heart for prayer. Teach me how to pray, Lord. Amen.