Drake’s Prayer


Sir Francis Drake was a daring Elizabethan sailor, explorer, and warrior. On his greatest adventure, he departed Portsmouth in 1577 aboard his ship, the Golden Hind.  His aim was to raid the stockpiles of Hapsburg Spanish gold on the west coast of South America. At the conclusion of his raids, he ventured far to the north, claiming Coastal California and Oregon for England–what he had dubbed, “New Albion.” He eventually returned home after circumnavigating the globe with booty worth more than a half million pounds sterling (a vast fortune in that day).


This is the prayer he wrote as he set out from Portsmouth:

“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. Amen.”

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