A Dangerous Prayer

I know they say "be careful what you wish for", but sometimes it is really good to be kicked out of your comfort zone, to grow and to strengthen your faith and character. A man who really knew what this meant, was St Francis Drake. 

Here is a prayer he wrote, which touches me deeply every time I read it:

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.

The last time I prayed this prayer, was at a time in my life where I was very happy and content, with no real problems. Safe. Suddenly it was like all hell broke loose around me! It became one of the most stressful, challenging times in my life, both personal and professional. Everything just started to fall apart like an unstoppable pile of dominoes, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop this train wreck that was becoming my life.

That time, other than previous tribulations I went through, I decided to do nothing about it, other than putting all my problems and heartbreak into God's hands and pray (mainly because I was completely out of options and even hope). I fought through each of my battles on a spiritual level, and gathered strength from spending some time with God every morning. Rejoicing seemed to be my best defence.

The storm has finally subsided after a long dark night. My circumstances has changed for the better, and I am even more blessed than before. When I look back, I can see that I have passed a test, and my faith is stronger than ever. It is amazing to see what happens when you let go and let God. We have to trust that everything that happens to us  - good and bad - is part of a bigger plan to make us grow towards our end goal. I am definitely not saying it is easy to sit still when everything around you is out of control and crazy, but with your eyes closed (in prayer), you will not get distracted or scared. It takes some practice.

Coming back to the poem: It is when we find the stars, that we find inner peace, despite the bellowing waves around us. It is amazing to look back and see God's hands - his mastery - in everything. I did not even need to interfere or give God some of my unsolicited advice!

I am re-posting this prayer today, because I do not want to be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat*. I want more out of life. I want to be more. I want to do more. I choose more, and when you know more, you can never turn back. You are eternally changed.

* The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. - T. Roosevelt

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