A prayer (not by Sir Francis Drake)

by maggi dawn

I posted this prayer years ago, but I thought it was worth a re-visit. Although it’s commonly attributed to Sir Frances Drake I would say it’s almost certain that it was not written by him at all, although just possibly it could have some connection to some lines he wrote somewhere. I’ve searched high and low for a footnote, reference or other indication, and I can’t find any provenance other than the InterWeb. 🙂 The language and metaphor is very modern (fallen in love with life? push back the horizon of our hopes? not 16th century at all). And in any case there is little evidence that Drake was given to writing any prayers at all. A prayer was made out of a letter he wrote–for more on that see here. But despite that, the shorter version (below left) is a good prayer, I think, though I feel that the longer one (below right) is overkill. And of course you can see why it gets linked with a famous seafarer.

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, 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

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.

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