Surfing and Prayer


Prayer is simply connecting with God

Follow the WAVE model of prayer

In my book, Dropping In: Experience the Life You Were Meant to Live, I write of a life that is marked by prayer. Prayer is a lifestyle, something we can do without even thinking about it. Yes, there are times when we are very intentional in connecting with God, but a life of prayer is a life of living in God’s presence. One of my favorite authors is the late pastor Henri Nouwen. In one of his books on prayer, he speaks to this:

“To walk in the presence of the Lord means to move forward in life in such a way that all our desires, thoughts, and actions, are constantly guided by him. When we walk in the Lord’s presence, everything we see, hear, touch, or taste reminds us of him. This is what is meant by a prayerful life. It is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said, or understood independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence” (Page 28).

To live this life of prayer and be in the presence of God day in and day out, there are several practices I aim to consistently live out. By simply practicing these prayer disciplines, I learn to better communicate with God and our relationship grows. As my pastor recently told me, “We learn to pray by praying.”

Follow the WAVE Model of Prayer - When I pray, as I paddle and walk, early in the morning with my cup of coffee, or throughout the day, I often follow the WAVE model of conversing with God.

Worship - Worshiping God reminds us of who he is and of his love and care for us. Jesus modeled this in his teaching about prayer in Matthew 6:9: Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”(ESV). When I am using the WAVE model of prayer, I simply say things like, “God, you are all-knowing, you are gracious, you are loving, and you are kind. God, you are so good, you are beautiful, you are gracious and merciful.”

Admit your Sin - The A in the WAVE model of prayer stands for admission. It’s important to confess our sins and ask forgiveness. This reconnects us in our fellowship with God. Our relationship with God is unchanged by sin, but ourfellowship is damaged. Fellowship is a word that is de nedby sharing, being in community with, and partaking together. For example, if I yell at my daughter and use an unkind word toward her, our relationship remains unchanged. I am still her father and she is still my daughter. However, our fellowship is damaged. To be in right fellowship with her, I admit my sin to her and ask forgiveness. When I sin toward God, I simply say, “God, you know where I have failed you. Please forgive me formy sel shness, for the way I spoke to my children or wife, formy impure thoughts...” The Bible clearly says in 1 John 1:9,If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (ESV). Admitting our sin brings us back into right fellowship with God.

Voice Gratitude - The V in WAVE stands for voice your gratitude. Psalm 118:1 says, Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. The Bible says that every good and perfect thing comes from God, and I use this time to thank him for the many good things he has given me. I thank God for my wife and children, my parents and sisters, for the opportunity I have to breathe each day, the gift of life, the giftof sur ng, and so much more! On a way home from sur ng inCocoa Beach recently, my son looked at me and said, “Dad, thanks so much for taking me; I appreciate it.” I loved hearing gratitude from my son. God loves to hear gratitude from his children as well.

Earnestly Ask - You may nd this hard to believe, but Godwants to hear what we want from him. Recently, I read a birthday wish list from one of my boys. As I looked at his list, I smiled. I loved what I was reading. No, he would likely not receive all he was asking - and it was quite a long list - but as his father, I want what was appropriate for him. Jesus speaks to this when he says, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will nd; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks nds, 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 sh, 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! (Matthew 7:7-11, ESV)

For more practical suggestions to help you grow in your prayer life pick up a copy of the book at

Prayer connects us to God

There are over 650 prayers in the Bible