Thursday, November 03, 2011

Voyage


Note from Belinda:
I read this prayer yesterday and again today--and then I read it to Susan after cell group, when we were having our "second cup" of decaff coffee together. I knew that she'd love it. She has a framed picture on her office wall of a little blond haired girl in a sail boat on a stormy sea. A fatherly sailor,with a weather beaten face; in a gray sou'wester, holds her close, as he capably mans the tiller. This prayer reminds me of that picture and influenced what I wrote earlier today, when I used the metaphor of ebbing waves to describe a lack of consistency and my desire to crash over the sandbar into the peaceful pool on the other side. 

( Susan sent me a link to the painting, which was done by American impressionist Robert Reid in 1888.  It hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in NYC.)
Be blessed by the beauty of this prayer.

OH LORD OF THE OCEANS,
My little bark sails on a restless sea,
Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely;
Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course;
Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals;
Bring me to harbour with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.
I ask great things,
expect great things,
shall receive great things.
I venture on thee wholly, fully,
my wind, sunshine, anchor, defence.
The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless,
but my helm is held steady,
thy Word secures safe passage,
thy grace wafts me onward,
my haven is guaranteed.
This day will bring me nearer home,
Grant me holy consistency in every transaction,
my peace flowing like a running tide,
my righteousness as every chasing wave.
Help me to live circumspectly, with skill to convert every care into prayer,
Halo my path with gentleness and love,
smooth every asperity of temper;
let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief;
may I strive to bind up every wound,
and pour oil on all troubled waters.
May the world this day be happier and better because I live.
Let my mast before me be the Saviour’s cross,
and every oncoming wave the fountain in his side.
Help me, protect me in the moving sea
until I reach the shore of unceasing praise.

The Valley of Vision...Puritan Prayers and Devotions p.202-3

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