When we begin our sports season, we often envision the athlete we’d like to be by season’s end. We imagine ourselves developing our skills, reaching our goals and serving in our position to help the team win a conference title or even a national championship. Over the course of several months, as we practice, condition and strengthen our bodies and minds, we see development and get excited over the process.
If our standard is to be the best in our sport, we should also set a standard to be at our best spiritually. As we have certain athletes we look up to at the top of their game, we also have the perfect example for our spiritual lives: Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived the perfect life and laid it down in obedient love for the Father. Through Him, we have everlasting life, and prayer is a time where we offer our hearts to be transformed into Christ’s likeness. One of God’s purposes for us is to be like His Son, living like He did and aligning our hearts to His.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
We live in a world where so much seems to change daily: what’s the norm, what’s culturally acceptable, even what we believe. As God’s Word keeps us anchored on the unchanging truth of Christ, prayer offers communication with the living God who desires deep relationship with His children. When we pray, we align our hearts to His, grounding ourselves in God’s character and conforming to the likeness of Jesus.
We are to transform towards Jesus, not the world.
When the world pulls at us to sway and shift with fading trends, we look to Jesus and stand firm on the promises of God.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
We are to transform towards Jesus, not the world. And prayer continues to be a key component as we share our heart with God, acknowledge and repent of our sins and seek after His heart. Being conformed through prayer also involves invitation, asking God to show us more of Jesus and to become like Him. He won’t force Himself, but we have to be open to receiving His adjustments and assessing our lives to see if there are areas that don’t quite match up to what God asks of us through His Word.
“For the Lord corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12)
The more time we spend with God in prayer, the more we are shaped in the likeness of Christ. And the Holy Spirit intercedes on His behalf, bringing us to closer fellowship and forming a way of life where through this relationship, we are able to shine His light into the world.
Let’s stay moldable with willing hearts to sift through strongholds that pave a way for Christ’s transformational love. As we conform to His likeness, a watching world notices our words and actions and wonder what makes us different. And when we see through eyes like Jesus, we are moved with compassion to share the Light of the world and bring others closer to His incredible, lasting truth.
One way to get in God’s Word is to have it delivered straight to your inbox with FCA’s Daily Impact Play, a lineup of devotionals by coaches, athletes, staff and volunteers that share how to live out God’s word in our lives.
Want to learn more about praying God’s Word? Head to FCA in Action and read our February Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: Connected: Pray the Truth
Article Two: Dialogue: Prayer Connects
Article Three: Intercessor: Prayer Comforts