How lovely it is to sail through life on calm waters, with a following breeze, in good health, well fed and supplied, surrounded by sunshine in pleasant company. So lovely that we can be lulled into thinking it the norm, and our well-merited right. Then we can easily feel ill done by when life shows itself in its true colours: disturbances, delays, disruptions, disagreements, disappointments, diversions and dead ends, in all our careful plans and purchases. Shrilly we protest: How dare they!
But plain sailing is not the norm, not this side of eternity. Jesus warned us: in this world we shall have tribulation (Jn 16:33). And though he goes on at once to reassure: I have overcome the world, he certainly did not mean we’d never have contrary winds or tempestuous circumstances. Rather, he leads us through them – safely, if not always comfortably. His reassurance speaks of two things, both essential for our praying.
- Hope. The risen, ascended Jesus IS Lord of all, and IS working out his salvation, for us and the whole creation. Such promise!
- Peace. Meanwhile, he bequeaths us his peace in the midst of seas too choppy to navigate on our own (Jn 14:27). Peace beyond understanding. Peace to rule and guide. Keep in contact!
So, as well as trusting prayers for help in all our difficulties, gratitude and praise are in order, as we remain unshifting in our course like a fully stabilised ocean-going liner, although it may sometimes feel more like we’re in a coracle, unable to see over the wave tops.
A prayer for each week
Lord, who stilled the storm which threatened to sink the boat, rebuking the uppity wind, please bring your calm to our lives now, and to those we name before you. Amen.
Lord, who walked the waves on a stormy night to be with your disciples in contrary headwinds, please come to us tonight, and give us your peace in our difficulties. Amen.
Lord, who answered the needs of all whom you met, feeding the hungry and healing the ailing, please meet our problems now: sort them out or see us through. Amen.
Lord, who opened blind eyes, liberated from chains, and strengthened lame limbs, please repair us: bless us, that we may follow the paths you have chosen for us. Amen.
Your own prayers