“Prayer changes things.”  Most importantly it changes us.  But only when in prayer, we submit ourselves to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

As we have begun a new year, I continue to pray and to seek God’s leading into the future both for myself and for the congregations I serve. I know that 2023 is filled with so much potential and possibility. I am sure that Jesus is going to do amazing things in me and in you as we keep our eyes on him.

But I also know that to realize all of this potential, that I cannot continue to do things the same old way. There will be change required of me for in many ways I have settled into ruts that will keep me stuck if I am unwilling to allow Jesus to set me free. I want to truly live unleashed this year so I pray that Jesus will not leave me set in my ways but will liberate me to soar to new heights or sail on new seas. I know that one of the ways that Jesus transforms me is in prayer because prayer changes me.

As I have prayed, I have found the words of some old prayers expressing the deep movement. I would like to share one of those with you here.  I invite you to pray it each day (if you dare).  Don’t simply read this post and  scroll on, but live with it as a part of your prayer time.  It is attributed to a gentleman from the 16th century named Sir Francis Drake.

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 us in the future with strength, courage, hope and love. Amen.

You might want to check out my post entitled Why I Keep Returning To This 4-Word Prayer to continue our journey together.

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