Saint Brendan’s Prayer


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The primary text at the Missional Order Conference was Luke 10, key to understanding what ministry might look like for those desiring life aligned along missional lines; full of insight when considering how missional people move into their neighborhoods incarnating the gospel of peace.

What caught my attention regarding this passage was the deep level of vulnerability Christ’s disciples were being called to. Sent out as “sheep in the midst of wolves,” with no money, traveler’s bag, or extra pair of sandals. Traveling light has new meaning when reading Jesus’ words. Friends give me a hard time when I travel, even overnight, I go prepared for whatever.

For sure, living in that place of vulnerability requires one to trust in something or someone other than themselves, for disciples of Jesus it must always be their Master. Maybe the disciples knew truth of Alan Roxburgh statement on Wednesday morning, “that what happens in vulnerability is where God’s future shows up.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Andrew Jones and Peter Askew moderated the conversation. At the end of the session Andrew led us in Saint Brendan’s prayer. Saint Brendan was an Irish monastic saint called “the Navigator”, “the Voyager”, and “the Bold.” A saint who understood his calling to walk in vulnerability.

St. Brendan’s Prayer

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honour? Shall I throw myself wholly upon You, without sword or shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks? Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will You help on the wild waves?

 

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4 Responses

  1. […] an early Irish monastic who took a somewhat legendary journey. At our missional order gathering, we read together the Prayer of St. Brendan during the liturgy that Andrew Jones led. St. Brendan’s Prayer Shall I […]

  2. You might want to check the second paragraph of St. Brendan’s Prayer for accuracy. I’m not an expert by any means, so when I couldn’t make sense of the grammar in your post, I googled and found the following:

    Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without frame, without honour? Shall I through myself wholly food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

    Thanks for an excellent post, otherwise!

  3. Sorry, I posted your version. Here’s the correct one:

    Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame, without honour? Shall I throw myself wholly upon You, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

    Feel free to delete both of these comments. I just wanted you to know about the inaccuracies.

  4. Bill,

    Thanks for the heads up – I appreciate it.

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