Surfing Can Be A Religious Experience. Prayer Part 2.
Surfing Can Be A Religious Experience.
- Tom Curren, 3 X World Champion
February 18, 2002 started like any other day off for me. A friend and I were driving up north to check a fickle right-hand point break outside of Santa Barbara, the air was a perfect seventy degrees, there was a solid four to six foot northwest swell hitting the coast, and the water was an uncharacteristically warm sixty degrees. It was going to be an uneventful and relaxing day of surfing.
The day was hardly relaxing and it was hardly uneventful.
As I poked around my garage deciding which surfboard to ride, my wife came in and said she was not feeling well. She had been up even earlier than me with an upset stomach. The catch here is that she was seven months pregnant with our twins. Her pregnancy was considered “high risk” as twins are often delivered early. We realized it would be a good idea to go to the hospital and check to make sure Laura and the babies were okay.
No less than ten minutes after walking into the hospital, the doctor looked at us and said in no uncertain terms, “Laura, you’re dehydrated and your babies are in distress. You are going to deliver these twins today.”
We were shocked and not expecting to hear that.
I looked at our doctor and said, “Wait...today?”
The doctor turned to me and said emphatically, “Yes, Shane. Today. Actually, in about ten minutes. We will begin an emergency cesarean section now.”
She wasn’t kidding. Within ten minutes, an army of doctors, nurses, and machines were surrounding my wife to ensure a successful delivery of my son David and daughter Summer. A C-Section happens quickly. The doctor made an incision below my wife’s stomach, opened things up, and pulled both babies out of her. It really was amazing.
What concerned the medical staff was my son David’s umbilical cord. I watched the doctor straining to unwind the cord that was coiled three times around his neck. David’s skin was a blue color, he was not breathing well, and a nurse rushed him to the neonatal intensive care unit.
As the nurse ran my son to another part of the hospital (I’ll never forget his little feet sticking out of a blanket), I said the words, “God, please protect my son.”
We often pray in times of crisis. We also pray in times of celebration and hope. We pray out loud, in our hearts, before meals, in large groups, and by ourselves.
What exactly is prayer and how can it help in our lives? Why should we pray and what exactly does it look like in our daily lives?
This chapter in Dropping In will attempt to answer these questions as we see how prayer is a chief means in helping us grow in our relationship with God and why prayer is so important in the Christian life.
What is prayer?
Prayer is simply talking with God, conversing with God, communing with God. Every follower of Jesus has a direct line of communication to God that is always available to us. Over the years of growing as a Christian, I have learned that prayer is so much more than words or an activity. Prayer is more of an experience and ongoing conversation in a loving relationship.
A main way I grow in my relationship with my wife is to converse, to listen, to communicate (and even after twenty three years of marriage, I have a long way to go here). This is a critical way we grow as friends and as husband and wife. Likewise, it is critical we talk with God and listen to him, in order to grow in our relationship.
Prayer is simple. As we pray, we are telling our father what we desire and trust that he will do what is best. Jesus speaks of this in Matthew 7:7-11,
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (ESV)
But prayer is also difficult. Our minds wander as we may not fully understand prayer. We have many questions about prayer that makes praying challenging for us. Why does God answer some of our prayers and not others? How do we know if God is listening? How many times do we need to pray to make a difference? These are just a few questions that may discourage us from praying.
For the entire chapter on prayer from my new book, Dropping In, hit the link or find it on Amazon. At the end of the chapter I share how our prayers for my son were answered.
Also, if you’d like a free chapter of the book simply message me and I’ll send it to you.