Quotations ns love: Breton Fisherman"s Prayer

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 17 2016


Dear God, be great to me. The sea is so large and my watercraft is so small. —Breton fishermans’ prayer

What component of her life feels prefer a vast sea: overwhelming, scary, hard to navigate, with storms that can arise any kind of moment? Is that a health worry for friend or who you love? A partnership challenge? A task or jae won issue? other political?

I love the power of the metaphor here, acknowledging the we frequently feel the our watercraft in the vast sea is just too tiny for safety. We need God’s assist because on our own, some components of life are just too overwhelming. We need a feeling of God’s enfolding, God’s eight holding united state up, due to the fact that some aspects of life are simply too scary. We require God’s guidance because the sea look at the very same in every direction.

You are watching: Oh lord thy sea is so great

I can’t remember wherein I came across this prayer numerous years ago. I have actually used the on cards and stationery because that at least two decades. I have actually prayed it countless times, and I’ve given the prayer to rather in time of crisis.

When ns did some online research study to try to discover the source of the quotation, ns learned that this prayer wasgivento new submarine captains through Admiral Hyman Rickover (1900-1986). He offered President Kennedy a plaque with the words. Kennedy provided this quotation in his remarks at the dedication of the East coast Memorial come the missing at Sea, might 23, 1963. He maintained the plaque on his desk in the Oval Office, and a replica the the plaque is easily accessible at the Kennedy Presidential Library.

The words on the plaque, however, room slightly different than the words I’ve been making use of for decades. The Rickover/Kennedy version goes like this: “O God, your sea is so great and my boat is therefore small.”

In the past few days, since I uncovered that information and the slightly various version the the prayer, I’ve to be pondering the difference in between “the sea” and also “thy sea.” The former, which I have been praying and thinking around for years, means that the sea is simply there. The last implies the the sea somehow comes from God or belongs come God.

I’m not willing come assert that evil originates from God, so ns don’t believe God causes the poor things in our lives. However can obtain on board with the idea the “thy sea” means that the big, overwhelming and complicated aspects of our lives, in part way, belong to God.

How room we to respond to this feeling of gift overwhelmed and also challenged by huge things? build bigger boats? my husband, Dave, invested two year on the USS companies floating around off the shore of Vietnam. The enterprise is around as huge as a ship can get, 1123 feet lengthy (342 metres), which is in between one fifth and one 4 minutes 1 of a mile.Even ~ above a ship the big, Dave says tropical storms in the Pacific to be scary.

The only solution, together the prayer describes, is to rely on God’s mercy and help. And that’s okay, because that’s what we were produced for. “This ns declare about the LORD: he alone is my refuge, my location of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalm 91:2, NLT). “Let all that ns am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, mine fortress where I will certainly not it is in shaken.” (Psalm 62:5, 6, NLT).

(Next week: a couple of quotations ~ above attention. Illustration by Dave Baab. If you’d choose to receive an e-mail when I short article on this blog, sign up under “subscribe” in the right hand column.)

My publications on the Sabbath and also communal spirituality practices describe much more about my view on leaning into God's goodness.

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Lynne M. Baab, Ph.D., is a teacher and also writer. She has actually written numerous books and also Bible examine guides. Lynne resides in Seattle, and you can call her in ~ LMBaab aol com.Read much more »

Lynne is pleased to announce the relax of her book on midlife, A put in order Spirituality: finding Fresh courses at Midlife, for kindle. She 2018 publication is Nurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral care for the Twenty-First Century, and her best-selling book is Sabbath-Keeping: Finding liberty in the Rhythms of Rest. You deserve to see her many other book titles here,along through her scriptures study guides.

Lynne recently spoke around bringing spiritual methods to life.

Lynne was interviewed newly for the podcast "As the crow Flies". The first episode concentrates on why hear matters and the 2nd one top top listening skills.

A couple of years ago, Lynne speak at a conference for preachers and others in to adjust on "Spiritual methods for Preachers" (recorded as a video clip on YouTube). The speak is relevant to anyone in ministry and also focuses on just how to attract near to God merely as a boy of God and engaging in spiritual methods for the sake of ministry.

Here are two talks Lynne provided on hearne (recorded in audio kind on YouTube): Listening for Mission and Ministry and Why listening Matters because that Mission and also Ministry.

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