Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014 “Play Ball”

“Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!” (Romans 8:34)

“We do not know how to pray worthily as sons of God, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which never find words. And God who knows the heart’s secrets understands, of course, the Spirit’s intention as he prays for those who love God.” (Romans 8:27)

“Tremendous power is made available through a good man’s earnest prayer.” (James 5: 16)

Good Morning Family of Faith!

It’s that time of year…another season is nearly upon us. New hope arises. People are getting ready. Anticipation grows with each sunny day. What? You thought I was referring to spring? Nope! I’m talking about “Baseball season.!” Now I’m not knocking spring. It’s been a long, cold winter for many people, and believe me, I welcome its arrival as well, but we’re talking about the “National Pastime”  insofar as baseball is concerned. Baseball is such an interesting game. There really is particular strategy involved. When a team is on defense, the fielders adjust positions depending on who is at bat or who is on base. The pitcher has studied the particular proclivities of the batter he is facing and knows his tendencies and pitches accordingly. The catcher chatters, doing his best to distract the batter. He also understands the pitcher and what’s working for him on a particular day, and signals to him regarding what sort of pitch to throw and where to throw it.  Meanwhile, the team on offense, that is, at bat, has also prepared. Coaches signal the batter as to when to swing, bunt, or take a pitch. The manager has set his line-up, placing his more prolific hitters in the batting order in such a way that they are more likely to be up to bat in scoring situations. There’s so much more than just throwing a ball and swinging a bat. It really is fascinating.

Just as a skilled manager lays out his line-up offensively and defensively in a particular order in a baseball game planning for optimum success, so God has a “prayer success plan” already in place as well. He’s got things in order. Before we even “take a swing” at prayer, our “manager”, God, has his heavy hitters preparing us for success. First up is Christ, who has “died for us, rose for us, reigns in power for us, and prays for us.” He has set the bases for our success, interceding for us before the Father in heaven.  Next up in the lineup in the Holy Spirit, who knows our particulars so well that he intercedes for us, coaching us when we’re uncertain as to what we should say or do. He expresses in prayer what is in our own heart, actually “pinch-hitting” for us as the situation demands. So what’s our role. We’re up to bat, and our prayer assignment is to do what we can to advance the team through intercessory prayer of our own on their behalf. Oswald Chambers understood this lineup. He wrote,

“Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men.”

Prayer, then, is truly a team effort. the good news is that we never lose. This team goes undefeated, marching on from victory unto victory, so long as we persevere. We have the “heavy hitters” on our team. None of the fiery darts pitched at us by the Enemy will defeat us. Are you ready to “play ball”? Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father; You are the Master Strategist.” As we follow your prayer plan of success, we discover the genius of your prayer lineup. Keep us focused on our goal, that we might persevere and wear the victor’s crown when our ‘season” concludes. This we pray in Jesus’ Blessed name. Amen!

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