This year, I have chosen The Valley of Vision as my devotional. For the unacquainted, it’s a collection of Puritan prayers (and boy howdy, could those Puritans pray!)
I believe that sometimes when you have no words of your own to pray, you can borrow the words of others, especially those of an earlier and wiser age. Here’s one of my favorites so far:
“O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything apart from
and being engaged in thy service;
Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what
to me thou makest them, and no more.
I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is,
or should be in all respects,
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair,
I would choose to refer all to thee,
for thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss,
as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal,
and it delights me to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.
What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?
I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not
what to do;
I long to make some return, but have nothing to
and can only rejoice that thou doest all,
that none in heaven or on earth shares thy honour;
I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed
but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul
and body to thee,
I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of thy power and grace,
that thy sole motive in working in me to will
and to do is for thy good pleasure.
O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much
about man’s creaturely power and goodness,
when, if thou didst not hold us back every
moment, we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, thou hast taught me