Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw shared the prayer he prays before pitching and discussed the moment he truly surrendered his life to God in a powerful "I Am Second" video.
"The prayer I say before I go out there and pitch is not, 'God, let me win today,' or, 'God, help me pitch good.' It's, 'God, just be with me,'" he revealed in the video, shot in 2012. "Whether it be pitching on a baseball mound or living my life outside of the baseball field, it's giving up my life to God that really puts my life in control."
Kershaw, who earned a win as the opening pitcher in the Dodgers' World Series bid against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, said that over the years, he's learned that "the more you try and grip control of your life, the more God's gonna untangle that from you."
"He's gonna make things go to where you have to rely on him," Kershaw said. "I was just so worried, I was so worried all the time. My parents divorced when I was 10, I had so much anxiety about my own life. If there was something that needed to get done, I'd rather do it myself than let other people do it for me. Just stuff that I couldn't control that I was worried about. My mom and I were trying to figure out about how college was going to be a feasible option for us; it's gonna be so expensive, I can't afford to do that. I didn't know what to do on my own."
The day he relinquished all control of his life was the day he got drafted, Kershaw said.
"That was life-changing, that - even talking about it now chokes me up, just because it's amazing the providence God had in my life. God was there the whole time, I just didn't bother to look. I never thought in a million years I'd ever get to play professional baseball, get to play in the major leagues, get to live out my dream. Since I was a kid, that's all I ever wanted to do."
He added, "But, at the same time, if you're playing baseball, why are you playing baseball? To have good success on the field and be a hall-of famer? Sure, that's everybody's goal. But then what?"
Kershaw said that for him, it's about the legacy he leaves off the field.
"It's about how many people can I affect through the platform that He gave me," he said. "With all the different people and different cultures and different religions, you can just kind of become one of the crowd. You gotta keep reminding yourself that you're supposed to stand out and that you're supposed to be different and you're supposed to act boldly in your faith. It's definitely not easy, not a great conversation starter sometimes. But it's worth the fight."
The baseball star, along with his wife, Ellen, runs Kershaw's Challenge, a Christ-centered charity which aims to provide opportunities to underprivileged children living in Dallas, the Dominican Republic, Los Angeles and Zambia
'We're just an avenue, we're just doing the part that God gave us," he said. "You can't think, 'Oh yeah, we can change this whole country ourselves.' No, but God can, and one more reason to let go control."
In a recent interview, Kershaw shared how his faith in Jesus Christ has grounded him throughout his successful career.
"Jesus is the only true way to Heaven," he told CBN. "I started really believing and understanding what it meant to be a follower of Jesus when I was probably in high school sometime. From there, just trying to draw on my faith since then."
He added, "I think more than anything, just putting in perspective what this baseball thing means and understanding that it is a gift and I didn't do anything to deserve that and realizing that if we continue to look to God to guide our path, you never know what could happen. Baseball could end tomorrow but you're just understanding that God is in control of it and we are not."