It’s been ten years since the last time I visited the North Shore of Oahu. It’s great to be here again and be able to reconnect with old friends. Not much has changed, except there are more people and more food trucks…everywhere. One place where a lot has changed is the small town of Wahiawa, located just a few miles from the North Shore. Wahiawa is where the mission organization Surfing The Nations (STN) is located. When I was here last, Wahiawa was known for its drugs, prostitution, and pornography. On the main street through town was a large pornography shop for all to see, and where most simply saw hopelessness and depravity the folks at STN (lead by it’s founder Tom Bauer) saw an opportunity for God to change a community. STN bought that pornography shop, gutted it, and rebuilt in its place their mission headquarters. They opened a coffee shop, vintage shop, and are highly involved in the community. They feed the homeless, house missionaries, preach the gospel, and love people. God has used them to literally transform an entire community that many thought was beyond repair. It’s an inspiring story of what can be accomplished through hearts fully committed to Jesus.
I have the incredible privilege to get to share with STN this weekend during their church service. To be honest, it’s a humbling opportunity. I’m inspired by STN and their steadfast commitment to Jesus. I’ve found much inspiration from Tom and the team at STN over the years. One thing I know STN does is pray. And I believe with all my heart that nothing spiritually significant happens without prayer. I’ve become even more convinced of this during my time here on Oahu.
I’ve been reading this week in Luke 6 about Jesus choosing His twelve disciples. Prior to choosing them it says He went off to a mountain to spend the entire night in prayer. After praying for the whole night He then chose those who would become His closest companions, those through whom He would plant and build His church. Luke goes on to say that it was after this night of prayer on the mountain that Jesus would deliver the Sermon on the Mount, a sermon that is still changing lives today. Jesus also withdrew to a mountain to pray on the night that He would walk on water. On that occasion we are told by Mark that what followed was what can only be described as one of the greatest times of outpouring and revival the earth has ever seen. There were people being healed by merely touching the fringe of Jesus’ cloak, and an entire country was shook by the power of God.
And words don’t do justice to the significance of what took place after Jesus’ night of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I’m realizing if prayer was such a vital and pivotal role in Jesus’ life and ministry, then it ought to have the same significance in my life. If prayer was the precursor to Jesus performing the greatest acts of God the earth has ever seen, then I’m foolish not to hold prayer with the same reverence and importance that He did. But unfortunately I too often do. I too often run off to the beach, or to work, or to sleep without spending time in prayer. And even as I write this I’m reminded there is something I need to go do, Someone I need to go talk to.