A Prayer of Sir Francis Drake, 1540-1596
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.
1 Save me, O God, *
for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2 I am sinking in deep mire, *
and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3 I have come into deep waters, *
and the torrent washes over me.
4 I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; *
my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. *
Must I then give back what I never stole?
6 O God, you know my foolishness, *
and my faults are not hidden from you.
7 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; *
let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8 Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, *
and shame has covered my face.
9 I have become a stranger to my own kindred, *
an alien to my mother’s children.
10 Zeal for your house has eaten me up; *
the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11 I humbled myself with fasting, *
but that was turned to my reproach.
12 I put on sack-cloth also, *
and became a byword among them.
13 Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, *
and the drunkards make songs about me.
14 But as for me, this is my prayer to you, *
at the time you have set, O LORD:
15 In your great mercy, O God, *
answer me with your unfailing help.
16 Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; *
let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17 Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; *
do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18 Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; *
in your great compassion, turn to me.”
19 Hide not your face from your servant; *
be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20 Draw near to me and redeem me; *
because of my enemies deliver me.
21 You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; *
my adversaries are all in your sight.”
22 Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; *
I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23 They gave me gall to eat, *
and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24 Let the table before them be a trap *
and their sacred feasts a snare.
25 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, *
and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26 Pour out your indignation upon them, *
and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27 Let their camp be desolate, *
and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28 For they persecute him whom you have stricken *
and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29 Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, *
and let them not receive your vindication.
30 Let them be wiped out of the book of the living *
and not be written among the righteous.
31 As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; *
your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32 I will praise the Name of God in song; *
I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33 This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, *
more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34 The afflicted shall see and be glad; *
you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35 For the LORD listens to the needy, *
and his prisoners he does not despise.
36 Let the heavens and the earth praise him, *
the seas and all that moves in them;
37 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; *
they shall live there and have it in possession.
38 The children of his servants will inherit it, *
and those who love his Name will dwell therein.