A while ago my pastor got me a book. It’s actually a collection of puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision. Being a bit skeptical, I didn’t think this would be very helpful. “Prayer has to be spontaneous,” I thought.
Over the past few months I have benefited so much by these prayers of old. It’s so often the case that our own prayers can be so shallow and monotonous and dry. As I thought about it, I kept thinking back to the psalms. The Psalter was the worship manual of the people God. And then I began to think about the songs we sing in church. An individual wrote them and then musical notes were added to them and then we get sing them. In fact, we memorize many of them. So, all that to say that there’s nothing wrong in repeating something. These collection of old prayers have deepened my own prayer before God.
Here’s one short prayer that has become my prayer over and over again as I press onward in this race of faith.
A Disciple’s Renewal
O my Saviour,
I am so slow to learn, so prone to forget, so weak to climb;
I am in the foothills when I should be on the heights;
I am pained by my graceless heart,
my prayerless days,
my poverty of love,
my sloth in the heavenly race,
my sullied conscience,
my wasted hours,
my unspent opportunities.
I am blind while light shines around me:
take the scales from my eyes,
grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.
Make it my chiefest joy to study thee,
meditate on thee,
gaze on thee,
sit like Mary at thy feet,
lean like John upon thy breast,
appeal like Peter to thy love,
count like Paul all things dung.
Give me increase and progress in grace so that there may be
more decision in my character,
more vigour in my purposes,
more elevation in my life,
more fervour in my devotion,
more constancy in my zeal.
As I have a position in the world,
keep me from making the world my position;
May I never seek in the creature
what can be found only in the creator;
Let not faith cease from seeking thee until it vanishes into sight.
Ride forth in me, thou king of kings and lord of lords,
that I may live victoriously, and in victory attain my end.