Unlocking My Prayer Life - Janie Reed

It was one thing when we were just waiting, knowing it would be a while until we would have any answers as to when the baseball and softball seasons would pick back up. But it’s almost harder to wait while knowing that we’re about to hear the news. 

My husband, Jake (who’s a pro baseball player), and I have been so fortunate to have found a great house to rent during this time. It’s been rare that we have a space of our own. We’re used to being around a lot of people, whether that’s teammates on the road, or parents during the offseason. We’re embracing alone time to just be with each other and with God more. 

My prayer life is something that I’ve struggled with, and my struggle was due to losing the belief that it has power. There are some areas of my life that I’ve been very persistent in, and as a result have seen God be very faithful with, but there are other areas I’ve left on the table. Prayer is one of the latter. But during this time of isolation, I’ve been persistent in prayer more than ever. When I’m alone in my house, I’ve learned to just walk around and pray about things, anything, and believe God for the things I pray. Doing this has unlocked things in my spiritual walk; I’ve felt a really close intimacy with God that I was lacking. 

In the past I would quickly become bored with praying, but by giving God space to speak back to me as I speak to Him, I find my trust and love for Him growing. He is constantly reminding me of how He has shown up again and again in my life. I remember the times when I’ve been in a tiny apartment or a gorgeous house, and in both I’ve been just as content. A great blessing to walking with God for a while is being able to recognize His track record. 

As Jake and I have been studying the book of Acts with another couple, we recently read a story about how a husband and wife chose to withhold what they had from the body of Christ. The couple ended up dying because of their deceit and disobedience. While reading this, I was convicted again that we should pray more as a couple. Sometimes praying together seems monotonous or repetitive; it just doesn’t feel alive. But Jake pointed out that we pray not based on feelings, but because we’re supposed to. So what if the prayers are repetitive? If you’re repetitive because you’re being persistent, believing those things, that’s all God wants from us!

Lately, Jake and I have been writing down our prayers and hanging them up so we can be praying over them constantly. We also have started fasting from food as a spiritual practice, which is something I’ve never done. I’ve fasted from social media or coffee, but as an athlete, I always said I couldn’t do it. In truth, I just hate the feeling of being hungry. But right before Easter this year, Jake and I decided to fast. And since then, I have been fasting once a week. Every time I find myself hungry, I pray more. The physical discomfort and sacrifice are almost like telling God, “I know You’re for real,” and it’s powerful. 

Our faith is a faith of feasting and fasting — there’s a time for both. If we’re always feasting, we’re going to be too comfortable. Suffering is a big part of our faith. The Olympics got pushed back a year, but my daily life was comfortable still. It’s necessary to invite suffering into our lives in order to allow God to show us His power. 

Everyone — athletes and non-athletes alike — seems to be going through a season of uncertainty and transition right now. In a time when I would normally have anxious thoughts, God has been reminding me that it’s going to be OK. He always takes care of us and provides exactly what we need when we need it. As a result, my belief and trust in Him are growing. 

— Janie Reed, USA Softball player

Janie Reed is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Janie’s Increase profile here.

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