Athlete, Here Are Marks of a Spiritual Warrior
1 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
I love finding portraits of champions and learning the secrets of winners. I bet you do too! And I love the pictures the Bible paints of spiritual warriors. See if these marks are marking you.
CALLED: The Bible is charge-filled. God repeatedly calls people to Himself and toward others. Here in 1 Timothy 2:8 a young spiritual warrior gets challenged. It’s one we can’t afford to miss either.
We gotta consistently feel the weight of His instruction, His coaching, His call. It’s core to the way our Heavenly Coach wants us to play … and win in life.
EVERYWHERE: There are no boundaries to this call. It’s to be part of our style of play, game in and game out, day in and day out; be it public or private, corporate or individual; before meals, after, or within any given forkful; in the locker room or on the court, in the weight room or beyond the pitch.
It’s never to be compartmentalized or limited. Rather, it’s to be seen and felt, launched and experienced everywhere, in every place. For this there is no O.B.
MEN: God specifically targets men for this game plan. He knows that women will, but men must. His men must play ball like this. Their manhood comes alive when this happens. And their faith and strength grow.
PRAYER: It changes things. It changes us. It moves, illumines, settles, lifts. It gets us on the same page with our Head Coach. In prayer we listen, not just talk. We get things off our chest, receive direction and find rest.
Prayer is always a way bigger deal than we think. Praying men and women become spiritual warriors.
HANDS: Our hands show our posture toward God and life. God wants our hands free, not clenched. He wants them washed, confident, ready to receive and do work for Him.
He wants our hands to be holy. That means “set apart” for His service, not just grabbing for promotion or clutching human validation. It also means “clean,” free from touching, holding, dabbling in sin.
LIFTED: God calls us to reach for Him. He welcomes it. He wants our hands moving in the right direction, up and out. Prayer helps our hands to get going in the right direction. Lifted hands show a humble, hungry heart.
UNITED: Prayer reaches out to others, with others. It doesn’t allow itself to just fly solo. It crosses aisles and unites like little else can. It helps us drop the disputes we fester and anger we hold.
Something good happens when we unite to pray with others. Understanding and peace show up as big wins on the other side of prayer.
Reflect: How well are you honoring God’s call to prayer in your life? Got any boundary lines for prayer that need to be moved, expanded? Where do your hands go when you pray? Up to God and out to others?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me to wide open, anywhere/everywhere prayer. Don’t let me live in passivity here. I want my life to be marked by this kind of strong, robust, relentless, game and to be a spiritual warrior for all that’s good and right.
Thank You for Your Spirit’s help to unleash me and the anywhere/everywhere example of Jesus, who always makes intercession for us. Amen.