New Hawks guard Jeremy Lin revealed that recently, he’s been challenging himself to “give God more space” in his life by spending less time talking — and more time listening — during prayer.
In an email sent to his digital prayer group last week titled, “Jeremy Lin Prayer Requests 39,” the former Nets guard said he wanted to share with his fans “some stuff that God’s put on” his heart.
“He’s recently been challenging me to spend less time talking to Him and more time listening to Him,” Lin explained. “I read a book that said if we were to go to dinner with someone we really wanted to meet, we wouldn’t spend the whole dinner talking. Rather, we’d ask a lot of questions and listen. The author compared it to how we often times, during our devotionals, spend all this time talking but don’t ever take time to listen.”
“So that’s something I’ve been challenging myself with — to give God more space to speak into my life,” he continued. “I’ve never heard God’s voice audibly, but sometimes He presses a conviction on my heart or uses another conversation with someone else or speaks through Scripture. There are many ways God can make His presence to me, but I find myself boxing Him in more often than not. Hope that encourages you guys!”
The 30-year-old athlete went on to reflect on the “praises” that have happened over the summer, including “amazing evangelical events” in Brooklyn and Asia, where God moved in “hundreds of lives.” Lin, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in the first game of last season, also thanked God for being “fully cleared” to play five on five basketball again.
“It’s been a long journey but the rehab is finally over,” he said.
Over the summer, Lin took to Instagram to share a series of photos from the evangelical events. The “Never Done” event, sponsored by Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC), featured Lin, MC Jin, and Jim Cymbala.
“Another awesome evangelical event w @iammcjin !! As real as they come…a light of joy everywhere you go! All for God’s glory bro,” Lin captioned an Instagram photo of himself and Jin.
In an earlier email sent to his digital prayer group, Lin said the book “Prayer” by Pastor Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has helped improve his prayer life and intimacy with Christ.
Lin said that in his 2014 book, Keller discusses how prayer is a response to the conversation with us that God has already started through Scripture.
“I’m going to keep reading this book and wrestling with the concepts, but continued prayer that conversation with God would be second-nature,” the athlete said. “If anything happens in my day or if I interact with someone, that immediately I would go to prayer instinctually and just converse with God.”
The athlete also said that recently, he realized that to experience God more abundantly in prayer, he simply needs to “come and connect with God.”
“I don’t need to pray in church lingo or with the most extravagant vocabulary,” he said. “I just need to come as I am because He loves me as I am.”
“One way I’ve practically made this change is instead of addressing Him as ‘God,’ I say ‘Dad,'” Lin continued. “I’m someone who says ‘God’ throughout my prayer, but I’m actively trying to replace it with ‘Dad.'”
This simple change, the athlete said, has helped him foster a deeper relationship with God and “constantly reminds” him that prayer is just talking to God.
“There’s no magical words or formula,” he said. “He just wants time and relationship with me!! As a result, I’ve found my prayers to be more natural, vulnerable and engaging!”