The Drake Prayer

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By: Sir Francis Drake

City gospel movement work is not easy. We often call leaders in this space “rogue” because they are willing to push against the status quo. They are the trailblazers who dare to hope that their city could be transformed even if no one else around them does. They are willing to risk by doing things a different way–sometimes out of creativity; other times out of desperation; and sometimes, because God has disturbed them. He has disturbed them about the way things are and gives them faith to believe there is more–not just for themselves, but for their city.

It is this disturbance that Sir Francis Drake sought from God when he grew concerned that he could accomplish his goals and fulfill his dreams without the power of God. If Drake could see his hope come to pass by his own efforts, was he hoping for too small of a thing?

City gospel movement work is not only difficult. It is impossible. That is, impossible without the power and presence of God. And that is why we pray and share this famous prayer. Because, without God, we cannot work towards transformation–dare we say, we cannot dream about transformation–without God’s empowering presence.



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.

-Sir Francis Drake 1577-

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