Prayer of Francis Drake

Several months ago someone sent me the 1577 prayer of “England’s most famous sailor and explorer,” Sir Francis Drake. A quick check of Wikipedia revealed that this swash-buckling privateer (a private ship owner authorized by the government to prey on foreign vessels during a time of war) was never a candidate for Anglican sainthood. Nevertheless his circumnavigation of the world on his vessel The Golden Hind remains one of history’s great records.

But it is his prayer—found in his ship’s diary and composed on the eve of one of his grand ventures—that I find particularly moving, especially on this Sabbath when our pulpit series, “The Radicals,” comes to its conclusion. It seems the right prayer for “this generation” called by God to spiritually conquer every continent and nation of this world for his kingdom.

So brood with me over the prayer—and let your heart be stirred by the intrepid Spirit of Christ himself, who is calling you and me to sail the seas on his behalf for this generation that desperately needs him.

The Prayer of Francis Drake

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.


Are there any atheists at sea? The limitless waves humble everyone, and inspire awe at the power of the One Who created them. And yes, let's dare to sail beyond our comfort zone -- remembering that the wisest of all sailors listen to the counsel of other sailors, and acknowledge their own smallness in the grand vastness of the sea. I feel closer to God on a wildly tossing sailboat, than anywhere else on earth . . .

Thank you for identifying the prayer I found and had clipped in my journal. It did move me to venture on wilder seas...with the Captain of my canoe.

Pastor Dwight Nelson, Was watching you on Hope TV this past weekend and heard your sermon on financial peace. You mentioned alot about paul in the new testament and referenced Dave Ramsey. What was the title of that sermon and is it on the PMC website in the sermon archives? If not, how do I get it? I'm in the financial peace university class right now, and I would like to share this sermon with our group. It's nice to see that things are going well back in the Berrien area. My wife and I used to attend PMC back in the mid to late 90's when she was at Andrews. Miss hearing your great sermons, but glad I have access to them over the internet. God bless you and everyone else as we continue to serve Him. Looking foward to His SOON return. Take care and may the Lord bless all efforts in spreading the gospel. Sincerely, Tom Lechleitner

I have driven many times along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, located in Marin County, California, and was not aware of the history of this famous sailor! Who would have known the thoughts and spiritual bent of a man who sought to explore the world by sea?! As we consider our abundance, Lord please save us from mistaking comfort for civilization.

Hi Pastor Dwight Nelson, I must thank you for your excellent sermons that you deliver on Hope Tv. God bless you and your family. Regards Gary

I watched your service was moving, at the end you made mention of this I'm checking it out...I like it ! lol this prayer is so moving! The sentiments expressed are often lost in the cacophony of sound that is our world quiet time to think, just a new generation endlessly goal-oriented people absorbed in the tangible delights of this world....where hedonism over-rides the fundamental scruples that were once so indelibly interwoven in the fabric of our societies...i think this prayer was written in a moment of quiet reflection, that's often when the Holy Ghost speaks to us,...and even in this world today there are many people who earnestly seek after the Holy Ghost. I pray that the Holy Ghost continues to speak to and inspire you and the members of your church... look forward to other comments from me,....p.s they wont be this long lol

How awesome and thank you for sharing.

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