One morning as I arose to pray, the word “spinnaker” persistently knocked at the door of my mind. I knew it was a type of sail, but I had not had first-hand experience with it. As I began to pray “The Lord’s Prayer,” I felt the Lord was impressing me that the three-cornered spinnaker could be likened to the three opening thoughts of Jesus’ prayer. I’ll mention my application of those three thoughts in just a moment.
One of the most demanding and exciting sports is sailboat racing. You have probably seen sailboats in competition (or sailing alone) that had ordinary sails – but then, brightly colored, billowing sails popped out front. A race of these boats is a sight to see, with teams of people furiously working to keep their sleek boats moving powerfully through the water. The boats do not always run before the wind, they must make their turns around the marker buoys and maneuver among the other boats. The spinnakers are kept for special moments!
This unique sail is specifically designed to catch the wind, not only dragging the boat forward but also actually lifting it! Wikipedia comments:
“The spinnaker fills with wind and balloons out in front of the boat when it is deployed, called flying…often called a kite, or a chute (as in cruising chute) because it somewhat resembles a parachute in both construction and appearance.”
A good spinnaker when filled with wind will have taut leading edges, because edges that curl in could reduce lift and even risk collapse. A well designed spinnaker will not have depressions or bubbles, but rather a smooth curve. Deviations will cause a reduction in lift and performance.
Most of us have labored to understand and appropriate prayer. Consider, however, that the Master of Prayer, Jesus Christ, has given us special insight in how to pray so that a great spiritual spinnaker will catch the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 shows us a brilliant, basic format for prayer, using 7 key points that can be amplified by our own personal thoughts and concerns. The first three have to do with God’s primary desires, the last four are concerned with our personal needs and desires.
First: 1. Let Your name be hallowed (honored, exalted, kept holy)
2. Let Your kingdom come (be proclaimed, advanced, lived)
3. Let Your will be done (perceived, acknowledged, fulfilled)
Second: 4. Supply our daily needs
5. Forgive our trespasses (debts, sins, attitudes)
6. Direct us in righteous living
7. Deliver us from the evil one
You will find that your combined first three prayers will become a billowing, 3-cornered spinnaker for your prayer life. The Holy Spirit (God’s Pneuma-Wind) will take particular delight in rushing such requests to God’s throne -- for they seek God’s glory, His kingdom’s advance and His will being done. Putting spinnaker requests first will lift and propel your life (aided by the ordinary sails of personal prayer, points 4-7), making your life a racing boat with lift and power. What do you think of this worshipful approach?
NEXT BLOG: How does a person “Hallow” God’s name?