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.

 

 

Casting My Anchor in the Port of Peace

I’m occasionally like praying other people’s prayers. By that, I mean praying out of books like the Book of Common Prayer and The Seven Sacred Pauses. I’ve chosen a prayer from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers and devotionals, that expresses the prayer of my heart right now. While I think it’s important to pray what’s in your heart as authentically as possible (even sighs and groans), I also believe that sometimes that prayer best comes out in somebody else’s words.

“My faith is in thee,
My expectation is from thee,
My love goes out toward thee,
I believe thee,
accept thy Word,
acquiesce in thy will,
rely on thy promises,
trust thy providence.
I bless thee that the court of conscience
proves me to be thine.
I do not need signs and wonders to believe,
for thy Word is sure truth.
I have cast my anchor in the port of peace,
knowing that present and future
are in nail-pierced hands.
Thou art so good, wise, just holy,
that no mistake is possible to thee.
Thou art fountain and source of all law;
what thou commandest is mine to obey.
I yield to thy sovereignty all that I am and have;
do thou with me as thou wilt.
Thou hast given me silence in my heart
in place of murmurings and complaints.
Keep my wishes from growing into willings,
my willings from becoming fault-finding
with thy providences,
and have mercy on me.
If I sin and am rebellious, help me to repent;
then take away my mourning and give me music;
remove my sackcloth and adorn me with beauty;
take away my sighs and fill my mouth with songs;
and when I am restored and rest in thee
give me summer weather in my heart” (The Valley of Vision).