The Christian fisherman's prayer is for those who are in the business of leading others to Christ. A "Fisher," a "fisherwoman," or a "fisherman" is someone who uses a fishing rod, a net, a spear, or even a crossbow to catch fish. He or she either eats, sells, or keeps what they acquire as a trophy. Many fishers photograph and then release their catch. Some fishermen gather shellfish from the sea, a lake, or a river. About 38 million commercial and subsistence men, women, and children fish worldwide, not counting fish farm production. Every day around the world, fishing provides essential nourishment for millions of people. In Jesus' day, those around him would have been very familiar with the fishing process, much more so than Westerners today. "Come, follow me," Jesus said in Matthew 4.19, "and I will send you out to fish for people." In New York City, shop owner fishers stand out on the sidewalk. They catch people's by the arm and urge them to come into the shop to buy a shirt, suit, or a hat. Fishing for people is something that every Christian needs to do appropriately. It is our calling and our task, for which we should pray.✞
"God grant that I may live to fish, Until my dying day.
And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray.
When in the Lord's safe landing net, I'm peacefully asleep.
That I will be judged, Good enough to keep."
Amen (Author Unknown.) ✞
Another fishing prayer from the "Farmer's Almanac" reads, "God grant me a little more time to pick up my rod and cast my line.
Work and worry disappear when I pick up my fishing gear.
With the boat on the trailer, I will go anywhere. The fishing's not too slow.
Work doesn't seem so fine when I see what's at the end of my fishing line.
When I am feeble, old, and gray, please don't take my pole away.
When the pearly gates open wide, please find this old fisherman, one good lake inside!
By Jeannette Hoppes✞
A third ancient prayer is known as the "Seafarer's Prayer." It looks at a different aspect of fishing from a boat - the danger.
"Dear God, be close to me;
your sea is so wide, and my boat is so small."
Life itself feels like being in a small boat in a large ocean sometimes. The storm may be so big and wide, we are not safe, and we feel like we are in a tiny vessel with the waves rolling around us. Psalm 107.24-31 (NIV) describes this frightening experience.
"Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters.
They saw the Lord's works, his marvelous deeds in the deep.
For he spoke and stirred up a storm that lifted the waves high.
They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their peril.
They reeled at their wits' end and staggered like drunkards.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give the Lord thanks for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds."✞