As I walked over to get the head coach for the plate meeting prior to a recent ballgame, I noticed that the team was praying. I stopped and bowed my head with the them. I heard the coach praying for the safety of the kids and to have a good game. I thought that it was pretty cool for the team to pray before the game started.

At one point in the game I noticed one of the coaches from the “praying team” was not real happy. His team was losing and time was running out. He was frustrated and was not holding his emotions back. His dugout was not a happy place.

I thought about the prayer before the game. Especially the part about “having a good game.” I wondered if God had answered his prayer in a way that he had not thought about. I was curious if the coach had prayed a sincere prayer … you know, one that he really wanted God to answer. Or, was he just praying some rote prayer to be “spiritual” or if he was trying to invoke the favor of God upon his team?

I have no idea what the motive of the prayer was. I did think that maybe God was trying to teach him and his team a little character about winning when you’re losing (think about that for a few minutes).

Oh, as I pondered about that coach and what God wanted him to learn, God reminded me to focus on what He wanted me to learn! When Peter asked Jesus what would happen to John, Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me” (John 21:22).

That’s a great lesson for all of us. And, it’s also wise to pray sincere prayers!