Pastor's Blog

Catching the Wave of God's Will

Catching the Wave of God's Will

As a young man growing up in Ventura, California, I spent my summers with my friends scouring the coastline between Ventura and north toward Santa Barbara looking for the perfect wave. Unlike my brother, Mark, I never became a very good surfer. But to this day, I still love the ocean, and on occasion I will paddle out in search of the perfect wave and a long ride. Unfortunately, especially these days, I spend most of my time under my board and under water.

The key to surfing is position and timing. First, you have to paddle yourself into position before the potential wave, and then, you have to begin paddling hard at the right time to get into the wave. And, finally, you have to keep paddling until you’ve been caught by the wave and are now moving under its power not your own. Only then can you stand up and ride the wave. If you start paddling too soon (or give up too soon) the wave will pass you by, but if you wait too long, the wave will grab you and throw you head over heels. 

Over the past several weeks I’ve been preaching through a series entitled (Re)Discovering the Power of Persistent Prayer. Additionally, I’ve invited the congregation to read through Pete Greig’s book,  Red Moon Rising, the story of the 24/7 prayer movement. As we’ve come to the end of this series and the book, I’m a bit anxious that we will move on to the “next thing,” and the wave of God’s work in the world, and in our community will pass us by.

By way of the Sunday messages, and as we read the book, we discovered that prayer is not about us getting God on board with our plan. Rather, much like surfing, persistent prayer is about taking the time to position ourselves before God so that we can get caught up in the wave of his will and work in the world.

The Gospels show us that persistent prayer was a hallmark of the life of Jesus. And, when pressed by his disciples to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them their first lesson in spiritual surfing. As most of us recite each Sunday, Jesus taught his disciples to pray saying...

  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, (Matthew 6:9–10 (ESV)).

And, of course, Jesus himself modeled this attitude perfectly when he prayed in the garden,

  ...“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done,” (Luke 22:42 (ESV)).

Like a giant wave, the work of God is going on throughout the world - a work of restoration, redemption and healing. And, as evidenced by the stories in Red Moon Rising, people all around the world are prayerfully paddling into the will of God - getting caught up into the power and beauty of his saving work in the lives of people and communities.

God is at work among us too! But, I know that there is more that he wants to do in us and through us. I urge us all to be persistent in prayerfully paddling towards and into the wave of God’s will as we work together for his glory and the good of our neighbors near and far.


Pastor Scott