February 3, 2010
Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Adam Wainwright is a big-league baseball pitcher.
In fact, he's a pretty good pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
He does, however, have a rather annoying custom. Every once in a while he puts his glove up over his face. In the past, some pitchers would use a gesture like that to put something into their gloves.
The addition might be a little tobacco juice, or petroleum jelly, or just plain spit. You put a little spit on a ball and it will do all kinds of things as it goes hurtling toward the catcher's mitt.
But Adam Wainwright says he's adding none of those things.
He says: he's praying. He prays before the games; he prays between some of the pitches. And if you're curious about what is in his prayers, he'll tell you.
Before the game he's asking the Savior for strength and that "the other team will look at him in fear." Between pitches he's asking the Lord to help him do well.
Not bad for a baseball player!
Adam seems to have grasped the idea of praying "without ceasing." On the other hand, the idea of God making the other team afraid, well, that seems a bit off the mark.
Nevertheless, Adam Wainwright is setting a good example. First and foremost, Wainwright is grateful for the forgiveness Jesus has won on the cross. He knows the risen Savior is with us, interceding on his behalf and for all people. But he is also not too proud to say, "even professional athletes need the Savior by their side."
This leads me to say this: If you're watching the TV next summer and you see pitcher Adam Wainwright put his glove up in front of his face, won't you think about this devotion. Then, while he's saying his prayers . . .
. . . won't you say one of your own?
In fact, we have a prayer coming up right now.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are told we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. I give thanks we also have many very real men and women who are glad to make a witness to the fact that You are in their lives. May I, by the Holy Spirit's direction, make my witness to others so they may see the wonders of Your love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries