A Puritan Evening Prayer of Praise

I have a collection of old Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision. I honestly don’t know a whole lot about these Puritans, other than they prayed some of the most beautiful prayers ever, as evidenced by the book.

One of their prayers is my own prayer at the close of another day. It’s my own words put much better than I could ever pray them:

“Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my great redeemer’s cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that You see in me no spots of sin. Yet a little while and I shall go to Your home and be no more seen; help me to gird up the loins of my mind, to quicken my step, to speed as if each moment were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.

I thank You for the temporal blessings of this world — the refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers’ sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over. Suffer me not to be insensible to these daily mercies. Your hand bestows blessings: Your power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of faith, the cheering presence of Your Spirit, the strength of Your restraining will, Your spiking of hell’s artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!”

I think that says it all. If I had any doubts about how blessed I am, I think those are put to rest for now.

 

 

A Puritan Prayer on Contentment

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I have a book called The Valley of Vision. It’s essentially a collection of really old, i.e. 1600’s Puritan prayers. I chose one of them at random to share with you (and because it’s just so freakin’ awesome).

“Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Your love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Your mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to You, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Your love.

When Your Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where You will show Yourself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.”

Those Puritans sure knew how to pray.

A Beautiful Puritan Prayer

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“O God of Grace,
Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul,
clothing me with bridegroom’s robe,
decking me with jewels of holiness.
But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
my best prayers are stained with sin;
my penitential tears are so much impurity;
my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin;
my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.
I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
no loom to weave my own righteousness;
I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
for thou dost always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
and always returning home as a prodigal,
always saying, Father, forgive me,
and thou art always bringing forth the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it,
every evening return in it,
go out to the day’s work in it,
be married in it,
be wound in death in it,
stand before the great white throne in it,
enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.”

From The Valley of Vision – A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
Edited by Arthur Bennett