14th March

Pouring Oil On Troubled Waters

The wind died down and there was a great calm. Mark 4: 39

We know nothing of Aidan’s childhood, but we may assume that his faith was built up with stories of fellow Irish people who had wrought great things by prayer. One of these was Mac Nissi of Connor, who passed into heaven on 3 September about 510. As a result of his intercessions a woman who had been infertile for fifteen years was able to give birth to a child. Aidan certainly learned to have faith for all sorts of situations.

A delegation from Lindisfarne had to travel far south by boat, and bring back Princess Eanflaed who was to become Queen to Northumbria’s King. Its leader, Utta, begged Aidan to pray for their safe keeping during this hazardous and significant journey. As he was praying for them God revealed things to Aidan. He gave them a jar of blessed oil to take with them, and told them that they would encounter storms, but that the winds would drop as soon as they poured the oil on the troubled waters.

The crew forgot about this. A storm did blow up, so fierce that the boat began to sink and they thought they would perish. Only then did someone remember Aidan’s words and the oil. They poured the oil over the surrounding waves, and the wind immediately receded.

This is an example of prophetic prayer, whereby a person foresees trouble for others, and is guided by God to give them direction. It is also the origin of the well-known phrase ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’. Why not pray for people you know who seem about to be engulfed in a sea of troubles? You never know, God may give you a word to pass on to them that proves to be as calming as Aidan’s oil.

Protecting Father, stalwart Steersman, guiding Spirit
I pray for friends in a sea of troubles
I pray for households in a sea of troubles
I pray for work places in a sea of troubles
I pray for communities in a sea of troubles.
May your inspiration flow to them
and come to them like oil on troubled waters.