The Family – a prayer from ‘The Valley of Vision’ (Pastor’s Desk)

The Valley of Vision is a wonderful collection puritan prayers. If you haven’t got it I highly commend it as a way of growing your prayer vocabulary. Here is the prayer ‘The Family’, with updated English, which, I think, focuses on our familial relationship in church.

—-

O Sovereign Lord,

You are the Creator-Father of all men,
for you have made and support them;

You are the special Father of those who know, love, and honour you,
who find your yoke easy, and your burden light,
your work honourable,
your commandments glorious.

But how little your undeserved goodness has affected me!
How imperfectly have I improved my religious privileges!
How negligent have I been in doing good to others!

I am before you in my trespass and sins,
have mercy on me,
and my your goodness bring me to repentance.

Help me hate and forsake every false way,
to be attentive to my condition and character,
to bridle my tongue,
to keep my heart with all diligence,
to watch and pray against temptation,
to kill sin,
to be concerned for the salvation of others.

O God, I cannot endure to see the destruction of my kindred.

Let those who are united to me in tender ties
be precious in your sight and devoted to your glory.

Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
instruction, discipline, example,
that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
my church the garden of the Lord,
enriched with the trees of righteousness of your planting,
for your glory;

Let not those of my family who are amiable, moral, attractive,
fall short of heaven at last;

Grant that the promising appearances of a tender conscience,
soft heart, the alarms and delights of your Word,
be not finally blotted out, but bring forth judgement to victory
in all whom I love.

Amen.

The Precious Blood

From the Valley of Vision – a wonderful collection of Puritan prayers edited by Arthur Bennett. I’ve transcribed it into slightly more modern English as some of the original old English phrases I believe can be misunderstood.

One common danger in the Christian life is to devalue, become calloused, or increasingly immune to the weight of what Christ accomplished on the cross. This prayer is a wonderful prayer of self reflection – to remember the heinous depth of our sin, and the correspondingly glorious goodness of Jesus’ sacrifice.

May it be an encouragement to us all this Easter.

 

Blessed Lord Jesus,

Before your cross I kneel and see
the heinousness of my sin,
my iniquity that caused you to be
‘made a curse’,
the evil that excites the severity of divine wrath.

Show me the enormity of my guilt by
the crown of thorns,
the pierced hands and feet,
the bruised body,
the dying cries.

Your blood is the blood of incarnate God,
its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.
Infinite must be the evil and guilt
that demands such a price.

Sin is my condition, my monster, my foe, my viper,
born in my birth,
alive in my life,
strong in my character,
dominating my faculties
following me as a shadow,
intermingling with my every thought,
my chain that holds me captive in the empire of my soul.

Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,
the air supply breath,
the earth bear my treat,
its fruit nourish me,
its creatures serve my ends?

Yet, Your compassion yearn over me,
your heart hastens to my rescue,
your love endured my curse,
your mercy bore my deserved stripes.

Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths of humility,
bathed in your blood
tender of conscience,
triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.

 

Here is the Sovereign Grace rendition:

Valley of Vision: God and Myself

If you haven’t gotten your hands on this collection of wonderful prayers you’re missing out on something ultra edifying to your faith. I’ve ordered a whole heap of them for future BC3 training days and SLE.

 

–ooo–

 

I have often loved darkness,
observed lying vanities,
forsaken thy given mercies,
trampled underfoot thy beloved Son,
mocked they providences,
flattered thee with my lips,
broken thy covenant.
It is of thy compassion that I am not consumed.

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.