Praying to be Disturbed

Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff graphicYou may remember Sir Francis Drake from history studies. Considered a hero in the British empire, and a pirate among the Spanish; he had a prolific naval/business/exploration career. I don’t consider him a moral hero, especially in light of his role in helping advance the abduction of Africans for slave trade. He did help expand the protestant church in the 1500’s, though his motives are suspect since he had a great dislike of Spaniards, Catholicism, and the papacy. However, he was a man of prayer, usually included a member of the clergy among his crew, and did help plant several churches during his naval journeys. 

Drake was known to have been an avid writer, but little of what he recorded of his thoughts and journeys survived past his lifetime. I believe it was Queen Elizabeth who had most of his records destroyed because she considered them military secrets of value and/or dangerous if they were to fall into Spanish hands. Reading some of his letters that have survived, I’m impressed with his clear conviction of the greatness of God. He believed settling in to satisfaction was a grave sin. Since God’s limits know no boundary, for man to believe he’s ever gone far enough with or for God is to confine God’s will to human frailties. Drake expressed this very well in a prayer he wrote in the latter half of his life. It’s a powerful prayer I’ve treasured for many years.

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars,
We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(Sir Francis Drake, Naval Commander, c.1540-1596)

Posted: November 12, 2009 
Filed under: Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Pastor Jeff, Prayer, Spiritual
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