Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.Romans 12:12 (NLT)
I used to be a pretty good volleyball player. I was blessed to play both six-man indoor and pairs beach volleyball. I even won a few tournaments during my time. But, it didn’t used to always be that way.
I started a bit late with volleyball. I was introduced to it in junior high school, mostly just as a recreational thing at my church’s gym night. I stunk. It was frustrating. I’d pretty much written off volleyball as a viable sport for Chad.
But, my freshman year of high school, I saw the AVP tour play in person. The AVP is the Association of Volleyball Professionals, and is the pro beach volleyball tour here in the United States. Watching those pairs of men and women play at such a high level was inspiring. I wanted to be able to do that. There was a small problem. I stunk.
My coach, always the optimist, put me on a training regimen. I bought a volleyball and would practice at home. I’d bump the ball straight up to myself. I’d set the ball against the garage door, keeping it moving back and forth between me and the door. I’d spike into the ground, off the wall, and back into the air for another spike. At first, the ball didn’t go where I wanted. But, day after day, week after week, and month after month, I kept at it until it clicked. By my sophomore year in high school, I was registering for tournaments and playing every chance I got. At my high school, I was king of the court (the top player).
I feel like sometimes our prayer life can be a bit like volleyball was for me at the beginning. It’s doesn’t feel right. You don’t seem to be getting the results you were hoping for. Sometimes, you wonder if it’s even worth it; especially when things aren’t going so well in life.
This is why our verse today is so important to remember, “Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” I think sometimes we give up on the prayer part when we don’t see a quick, or easy, exit strategy. But, we’ve got to keep at it. Prayer works. And, prayer, much like anything we do, gets better over time. No, God doesn’t get better, but prayer improves us. It attaches us to the One who is the hope-giver. It humbles us and allows us to remember who is King. It connects us to our Savior, who will lead us through whatever it is we are facing.
So family, whatever troubles you may face in this life, keep on praying.