But what made the biggest headlines was what happened just before the game ended. According to a WVLT News article, the Lady Vols pitcher stopped the game with one strike left in order to meet the catcher halfway between the pitcher’s mound and home plate - in order to say a prayer together. The article states:
“Tennessee pitcher Matty Moss was one strike away from sending Tennessee to the super regionals on Saturday, when she called for time, stopping the game, momentarily. The crowd, which was in a frenzy at the time, became nearly silent. She held hands with her catcher for a matter of seconds, before smiling and returning to action.”
After the game, reporters asked Tennessee Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly about the brief incident. To which she replied:
“It was a prayer. That's what Matty does. When Matty needs to calm down, she calls the catcher out. She says, ‘grab my hand.’ I don't know who does the praying. I don't know if it's out loud or silent because I've never been a part of it; but it's a prayer!”
Coach Weekly told the reporters that she was fully aware of what Moss was doing when she called for time and went out and met the catcher. She concluded:
“I love it. If that's what gets Matty calmed down, she can pray every pitch ... Yeah, amen!”
Little wonder, for after her prayer, Moss promptly returned to the mound and ended the game exactly two pitches later - with a strikeout!
Prayer is indeed a wonderful thing. It has many effects, to be sure. God certainly answers our prayers, especially those we offer on behalf of others and their concerns. But prayer also has benefits for those of us who actually undertake it. Dr. Charles Stanley suggests fourteen benefits of prayer in the lives of believers who pray regularly. He asserts that regular prayer…
(1) provides timely direction, (2) prevents wrong decisions, (3) eliminates worry and anxiety, (4) produces peacefulness, (5) invites God into our activity, (6) produces confidence, (7) eliminates fretting, (8) sharpens discernment, (9) gives us energy, (10) prevents distractions, (11) reminds us to act now, (12) protects us from discouragement, (13) opens doors of opportunity, and (14) helps us discern between busyness and fruitfulness.
I do not necessarily know what all Matty Moss was seeking in her prayer. But as her own coach later affirmed, her conversation with God apparently allowed her to calm down and continue to compete effectively. And through her example, I have been reminded that it well behooves me to talk to God on a regular basis – not only for the effects of my prayers in the lives of others, but for the benefits it has to offer me as well.
Perhaps this is exactly what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he admonished the Thessalonians (and us through them) to “pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). Maybe, just maybe, the more we talk to God, the bigger a difference it makes in our lives!
And for this very reason, maybe, just maybe, some of the sweetest words heard up in Heaven were summed up by Rev. F.C. Barnes years ago:
Troubles come and I can’t find an answer;
Lonely nights I spend in agony.
I have no other friend that I can turn to;
So here I am Lord back upon my knees.
It’s me again Lord; I’ve got a prayer, I need an answer.
It’s me again Lord; I’ve got a problem I can’t solve.
Well I don’t mean to worry you; but here I am facing something new.
And I need help that only comes from You; it’s me again Lord!
It's me again Lord; With a pain, I need Your healing.
It's me again Lord; With a burden I cannot bear.
As I cope from day to day, keep me Lord lest I stray.
I need Your help every day; It's me again Lord. It's me again Lord!
It's me again Lord; With a door I cannot open.
It's me again Lord; Will you please open it for me?
There are hills that I have to climb; In Your word, Your help I find.
I need Your help all the time. It's me again Lord. It's me again Lord!
NEWS STORY: https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/Lady-Vol-pitcher-stops-game-to-pray-with-one-strike-left-510151211.html.
SEE ALSO: https://www.intouch.org/Read/Blog/14-benefits-of-prayer.
SONG LYRICS: https://www.lyricsbox.com/reverend-f.c.-barnes-and-company-it-s-me-again-lord-lyrics-3bng78k.html.