Puritan Prayers - The Valley of Vision, The Word

The Father’s Care

I have recently been struck by the extent of the care my Father has for me. He loved me long before my birth, and will love me unto death and beyond. This love is demonstrated in the death of Christ, and His affection continues and will never cease to amaze me. He is so long-suffering; He endures my betrayal and treason, welcoming me home with open arms, even though I sin against Him time and time again.  A passage that has recently impacted me: Isaiah 46: 3, 4 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” 

Love Lustres At Calvary

My Father,

Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips, 

supply words that proclaim, ‘Love lustres at Calvary.’

There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son, made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;

There the sword of the justice smote the man, thy fellow;

There thy infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite atonement was made;

There infinite punishment was due, and infinite punishment was endured.

Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy

that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,

stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, athirst that I might drink,

tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,

groaned that I might have an endless song,

endured all pain that I might have unfading health,

bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,

bowed His head that I might uplift mine,

experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,

closed His eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,

expired that I might live forever.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,

All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;

Help me to adore thee by lips and life.

O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed,

Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed, sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood, hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open. 

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort, and save.

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Puritan Prayers - The Valley of Vision

God And Myself – The Valley Of Vision

A couple mornings ago, I ended my devotions with a prayer from The Valley Of Vision. This prayer, like many other Puritan works, switches in focus between our depravity and praise for the Lord. Many times when reading the writings of the Puritans, all I can do is ask the Lord to grant me sincerity in my walk with Him. Grant me a love that is and remains true; a 2 John 6 love- And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  If I do not obey my God and Father consistently, I cannot say I love Him. If others cannot examine my life and grasp an assurance of Christ’s existence – and moreover, His love – I should not claim His name. Yet, it is by God’s grace alone, that He enables me and others to present this very image with our lives. Praise be to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for His grace, love, and continual faithfulness!

God And Myself

 Lord God Almighty,

Thy understanding is unsearchable and infinite,

Thy arm cannot be stayed,

Thy agency extends through limitless space,

All works hang on thy care,

With thee time a present now.

Holy is thy wisdom, power, mercy, ways, works.

How can I stand before thee

with my numberless and aggravated offences?

I have often loved darkness,

observed lying vanities,

forsaken thy given mercies,

trampled underfoot the beloved Son,

mocked thy providences,

flattered thee with my lips,

broken thy covenant.

It is of thy compassion that I am not consumed.

Lead me to repentance, and save me from despair,

Let me come to thee renouncing, condemning,

loathing myself, (my sin)

but hoping in the grace that flows

even to the chief of sinners.

At the cross may I contemplate the evil of sin,

and abhor it,

look on Him whom I pierced,

as one slain for me, and by me.

May I never despise His death by fearing

its efficacy for my salvation.

And whatever cross I am required to bear,

let me see Him carrying a heavier.

Teach me in health to think of sickness,

in the brightest hours to be ready for darkness;

in life prepare me for death.

Thus may my soul rest in thee, O immortal

and transcendent One,

revealed as thou art in the Person and work

of thy Son,

the Friend of sinners.

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Puritan Prayers - The Valley of Vision

Christ Is All

This Puritan prayer is one of a contrite heart, a heart that cries out with longing to its Savior, wanting to love and live only for its Lord. It contains a beautiful yet disgusting contrast between us and our Redeemer, which should spur us on to love and live for the One who has died for us, an incomprehensible act in and of itself. I hope you are encouraged to live today for your Savior, as I was after reading this.

Just a thought: how many of us pour out our hearts to our Father on a regular basis like this? If we were to do so, our walks with the Lord would be much deeper as a result, as the frequency of our “backslidings” would decrease. J.C. Ryle said, “What is the cause of most backslidings? I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer.”

O Lover to the uttermost,

May I read the meltings of thy heart to me

in the manger of thy birth,

in the garden of thy agony,

in the cross of thy suffering,

in the tomb of thy resurrection,

in he heaven of thy intercession.

Bold in this thought I defy my adversary,

tread down his temptations,

resist his schemings,

renounce the world,

am valiant for truth.

Deepen in me a sense of my holy relationship to thee,

as spiritual Bridegroom,

as Jehovah’s Fellow,

as sinner’s Friend.

I think of thy glory and my vileness,

thy majesty and my meanness,

thy beauty and my deformity,

thy purity and my filth,

thy righteousness and my iniquity.

Thou hast loved me everlastingly, unchangeably,

may I love thee as I am loved;

Thou hast given thyself for me,

may I give myself to thee;

Thou hast died for me,

may I live to thee,

in every moment of my time,

in every movement of my mind,

in every pulse of my heart.

May I never dally with the world

and its allurements,

but walk by thy side,

listen to thy voice,

be clothed with thy graces,

and adorned with thy righteousness.

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Puritan Prayers - The Valley of Vision

The Love of Jesus – The Valley of Vision

I have recently begun to read Puritan prayers from the collection, The Valley of Vision, and I have been greatly encouraged by them.  The Puritans who truly believed in Christ, those who had truly repented, lived mildly ascetic lifestyles, dedicated to glorifying God in thoughts and actions. This prayer in particular shook me to the very core, as it illustrated the beautiful love relationship I have with my Savior.  I desire to love Him so much more, and this prayer words that desire in a completely elegant way.

The Love of Jesus

 

O Father of Jesus,

Help me to approach thee with deepest reverence,

not with presumption,

not with servile fear, but with holy boldness.

Thou art  beyond the grasp of my understanding,

but not beyond that of my love.

Thou knowest that I love thee supremely,

for thou art supremely adorable, good, perfect.

 

My heart melts at the love of Jesus,

my brother, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,

married to me, dead for me, risen for me;

He is mine and I am His,

given to me as well as for me;

I am never so much mine as when I am His,

or so much lost to myself until lost in Him;

then I find my true manhood.

 

But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;

Let His love warm me,

lighten my burden,

be my heaven;

May it be more revealed to me in all its influences

that my love to Him may be more fervent

and glowing;

Let the mighty tide of His everlasting love

cover the rocks of my sin and care;

Then let my spirit float above those things

which had else wrecked my life.

 

Make me fruitful by living to that love,

my character becoming more beautiful every day.

If traces of Christ’s love-artistry be upon me,

me He work on with His divine brush

until the complete image be obtained

and I be made a perfect copy of Him,

my Master.

 

O Lord Jesus, come to me,

O Divine Spirit, rest upon me,

O Holy Father, look on me in mercy,

for the sake of the well-beloved.

Yes, Father, perfect me into a perfect copy of Him, my Master.

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