PRAYER OF THE SEA CAPTAIN

This morning in Golden Valley Church, Wes read out the prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake [c1540 to 1596].

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Drake was a product of his time, an era of ongoing war between the European sea-going nations, and valued as a hero to the English and a ‘pirate’ to the Spanish, whose territories he often raided on behalf of the then Queen of England, Elizabeth I. His sailing career had begun as a young man within the slave trade, though latterly he employed escaped slaves in his crew. He was the second person to circumnavigate the globe in the late 1570’s, and received a knighthood immediately afterward. Through modern eyes he would appear to be a very strange mixture of qualities, yet he penned this amazing prayer which is so relevant to us all as we move into another year.

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.

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BATTLE OF SEASONS

I believe we are in a seriously challenging season-change. What we see in the natural world right now – a kind-of battle between winter and spring as to which remains – is a reflection of something much deeper and far more powerful which is going on globally in the spiritual realm.

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At times of pressure – or unclear season change – where we can’t see what is yet to happen, it is easy to make Esau-type decisions. We react emotionally out of our limited grasp on what is going on, and we sacrifice the important for the unimportant; the long-term for the short-term pain relief; our birthright for [what we perceive are our] current ‘rights’.

Things to come are often shrouded by mist. Some of the methods of perception which we learned in a previous season, don’t seem to work the same. Our past experiences don’t provide enough wisdom for the next stage. It’s a Joshua 3 situation. The waters are in flood and threaten to sweep us away. Friends and family are trudging through mud. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of fear around. And the promises of the new look like they are about to drown.

But God says He has earmarked this very time and place as a crossing-over point! And He says that we haven’t been this way before, so we can’t expect to rely on our experiences so far. Instead we must position ourselves so that we can see where He is moving and what He is doing next.

Our experience of the outward shifts are often dependent on corresponding inward shifts. Our mindsets have to change. Our stubbornness has to go to the cross. Our, “I did it my way” – which is lawlessness – and causes love to grow cold – has to yield to HIS way, which actually might be coming to us wrapped up in “someone else’s way”. We go lower, to go higher. We stop for the one. We bless and give even if it hurts to do so. We ‘bind the sacrifice with cords to the altar’ so that it – I – can’t get off. Ultimately the fire will come.

In House of Prayer today we prayed that we wouldn’t make decisions now which would take us out of line, down the line. I so need this myself.

So much has yet to break open. Season shifts sound great when you prophesy them, but as they work out in you it can be a different story! Let’s ask for grace to stay in a place of steadfastness. Like the watchman, keep your eyes on the glimmers of morning sunrise. God hasn’t forgotten you, but He’s going deeper in your heart, so that you can carry more of Him in the season ahead. He fully intends your crossing over – your shift – your season change.

Wes