Disturb us, Lord

Y’all should see my desk at work. It is pathetically spartan—almost entirely devoid of decorations. A few stacks of papers strewn here and there. A cup of half sweet, half unsweet tea beside my dual computer monitors. A pen. My phone. My keys. A couple cashew-flavored granola bars. An almost empty box of Tic Tacs. That’s about it. (If you have any awesome ideas for classy workplace decor, shoot me an email.)

To my left, suspended by two thumbtacks on the walls of my cubicle, is a single sheet of white copy paper with the words of a 439-year-old prayer printed onto it. The prayer was written by Sir Francis Drake—a man who, along with a crew over 100 brave men, successfully circumnavigated the entire globe (though it took them over 1,000 days to do it).

Drake reportedly penned this prayer right before he and his crew embarked on their historic 36,000-mile journey in 1577.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we 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 wilder 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 back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

If that’s not worth displaying on an office cubicle, I don’t know what is. This prayer is rich with thought-provoking statements. Perhaps the most convicting of them all: “We have lost our thirst for the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity.”

Francis Drake was not a perfect man. A Google search of his name quickly sheds light on his many controversial deeds. And yet, even after 400+ years, this beautiful prayer still resonates.

Today, as we live our Christian lives, may we not be so transfixed by the temporary things of this world that we miss those things that are above (Colossians 3:2). May we not, as Francis Drake prayed, fall in love with the fleeting pleasures of this life, but instead cling to our First Love, our Captain— the Lord Jesus. May we prayerfully gaze upward at the heavens, not downward at the earth.

During those moments of prayer and worship, we may lose sight of land.

But we shall find the stars.

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