Disturb Us O Lord – A Prayer by Desmond Tutu

by Christine Sine
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu via http://theforgivenessproject.com

Today’s prayer is attributed to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu adapted from an original prayer by Sir Francis Drake.

Disturb us, O Lord

when we are too well-pleased with ourselves 
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, 
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, O Lord

when with the abundance of things we possess, 
we have lost our thirst for the water of life 
when, having fallen in love with time, 
we have ceased to dream of eternity 
and in our efforts to build a new earth, 
we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.

Stir us, O Lord

to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas 
where storms show Thy mastery, 
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.

In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes 
and invited the brave to follow.


A couple of years ago I also obtained a copy of Desmond Tutu’s An African Prayer Book. It has some wonderful prayers in it and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to enrich their prayer life.

You may also like


Tamara Buchan March 2, 2012 - 1:47 pm

This prayer reminds us to consider how we become short sighted in our thinking and our vision for what we pray for.
Thanks for sharing it, it was really helpful for today.

Christine Sine February 23, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Reblogged this on Godspace and commented:

I posted this prayer during Lent last year. It has been so popular and is so in keeping with my thoughts at this season that I decided to repost it today. It is one of my favourite prayers.

promiseglobal February 28, 2013 - 1:02 am

Reblogged this on Simon's Universe and commented:
One of the very cool people to have graced our planet during my life time

kairossouthernafrica April 13, 2013 - 9:09 pm

Reblogged this on Kairos Southern Africa.

Julia Serurubele Stone November 13, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Disturb us o’ Lord, Stir us O’ mighty Lord. May we always remember Him everyday of our lives. Stay Bless Desmond Tutu I love you. Amen.

Alison February 12, 2016 - 5:58 pm

This prayer is often attributed to Sir Francis Drake via Desmond Tutu, but it first appeared in 1961 and the author was Heicher, M. K. W. (Merlo Karl Wordsworth) 1882-(1967?)

Christine Sine February 12, 2016 - 6:04 pm

Appreciate your comment

Leave a Comment