Signs from the Dugout

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people

Acts 10:9-20 NLT -  The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17 Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18 they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19 Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 

Even though players communicate to each other during a baseball game, one of the traditional forms of communication between the leader (manager) and players during a game are through dugout signs.  These non-verbal cues provide information and instruction to those involved in the game so they can execute in a way that helps the team win.  Sometimes the signs may be relayed through a sideline coach or even through the catcher on the field.  Yet communication between leader, other coaches, and players is vital for winning at the major league level.  Coaches help communicate the team vision and help players execute their role in fulfilling the mission.

Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV - So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Communication with God is vital for winning in life as a Christian.  From the first baby steps of learning to pray to a fully developed life of intercession, prayer is the necessary communication and communion that keeps us in sync with our Lord.  In instances like Acts 10, God may even give signs to us in prayer that indicate our need to take bold action.  In other cases, it just keeps us in constant communication with our Leader who we rely on for direction.  Have you ever viewed prayer as more of a drudgery or duty rather than staying in constant communication with your “Coach”?  Aside from the supernatural signs from “the dugout” (God-given visions, dreams, prophecies, etc.), knowledge of Scripture is vital since it is the basis for God’s communication with us.  How God directs us in prayer will be expressed primarily through Scripture; therefore, the greater the knowledge of the Bible - the richer your prayer life can be.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 NLT - But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.