Prayer While Sailing the World

By Mike Ritter


Mike Ritter, sailed around the world. Did he run into weather challenges? Does he have any insights to share from being out on the water so long?


The goal in sailing long distance is to be on the right part of the ocean at the right time of the year. So we rarely had serious issues with weather. When I was caught in storms, I was not afraid. We had a strong boat and a lot of experience.

Rather than be afraid, I'm always awestruck by the power of the waves and wind and nature. It's really inspiring to witness a material sense of power and to know that God is more powerful than that.

There have been times when conditions were lousy, when I prayed. I think I helped calm the waves. I'm not positive, but I know Jesus did it. He "said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39). Jesus told his followers to have faith, to pray, and to expect results!

"For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matt 17:20 ESV)

I have been at sea 16-20 days straight, sailing around the clock. It gets to be a Zen experience. You get into a routine that's almost a meditation. At those times, my prayerful study becomes even deeper. Being out on the water (assuming that conditions are mild, which they are 95% of the time) is a good time to pray, to listen to God.

You can see the splendor of God's creation and expression in the sea life, in the activity of the water, in the stars at night. We've all seen moon shadows, and I've been out there when there's no moon, but there are star shadows because the stars are so bright. It's just incredible to experience. I'm very grateful that I have a supportive family who enables me to do what I love.

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
      the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
      human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
      and crowned them with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
      putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
      and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
      and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
(Psalm 8:3-9 NLT)