Valley of Vision

Below are a couple of my favorite Puritan prayers from the Valley of Vision collection. It’s available on Amazon HERE, and many passages can be found for free HERE.

Choices

O God,
Though I am allowed to approach thee
I am not unmindful of my sins,
I do not deny my guilt,
I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness.

May I with Moses choose affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.
Help me to place myself always under thy guiding and guardian care,
to take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to thee,
to feel more of the purifying, dignifying, softening influence of the religion I profess,
to have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy,
to deem it an honour to be employed by thee as an instrument in thy hands,
ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness,
and willing to offer all my talents to thy service.

Thou hast done for me all things well,
hast remembered, distinguished, indulged me.
All my desires have not been gratified,
but thy love denied them to me
when fulfillment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.
My trials have been fewer than my sins,
and when I have kissed the rod it has fallen from thy hands.
Thou hast often wiped away my tears,
restored peace to my mourning heart,
chastened me for my profit.
All thy work for me is perfect, and I praise thee.

Humiliation

Sovereign Lord,
When clouds of darkness, atheism, and unbelief come to me,
I see thy purpose of love in withdrawing the Spirit that I might prize him more,
in chastening me for my confidence in past successes,
that my wound of secret godlessness might be cured.
Help me to humble myself before thee
by seeing the vanity of honour as a conceit of men’s minds,
as standing between me and thee;
by seeing that thy will must alone be done,
as much in denying as in giving spiritual enjoyments;
by seeing that my heart is nothing but evil,
mind, mouth, life void of thee;
by seeing that sin and Satan are allowed power in me that I might know my sin,
be humbled, and gain strength thereby;
by seeing that unbelief shuts thee from me,
so that I sense not thy majesty, power, mercy, or love.
Then possess me, for thou only art good and worthy.

Thou dost not play in convincing me of sin,
Satan did not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin
lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.
When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me, by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied;
that I am feeble and unable to do any good,
but that in him I can do all things;
that what I now have in Christ is mine in part,
but shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven.

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7 thoughts on “Valley of Vision

  1. Reblogged this on The Edge of the Wilderness and commented:
    In my past, I sought to imitate, preach, and measure all things after the Puritans (especially John Owen, Richard Baxter, Thomas Watson, etc.). . So much of it in retrospect was just a form of sophisticated neo-Puritan Reformed theoreticalism.
    But oh, how they knew God, walked with Him in a way that is utterly humbling, as reading these prayers will make obvious.

    Lord, deliver us from notion and theory unto Your deep, deep reality in love. Mighty oceans of love, mercy and humbling grace!

  2. We are printing these out, framing them, and putting them on our walls to serve as daily reminders.
    Our new house will be drenched in prayer!
    Thank you, Matt, for sharing these!

    • Also, I just randomly snooped on your picture and saw that you’re a student at GCU. Nice! My brother and I are actually flying into Phoenix in a couple weeks to do the R2R2R trail run in the Grand Canyon.

    • Super-groovy! I actually just graduated, and I will be missing out on many hikes and runs this year as I prepare for seminary. Have a lot of fun!

  3. Reblogged this on a simple man of God and commented:
    Thanks to Matt for sharing these.
    My wife and I are going to be hanging these prayers on our walls! Read them, pray them, and enjoy the life God has for you … no matter what may come! (Keep in mind that, as you pray these, you may be asking for difficult times in your life!)

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