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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recent Meditations

I encourage you to read prayers from Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.  They make great gifts (how I got mine; thanks Marty!) but it would make a great gift for yourself. 

There are numerous prayers, which makes it slippery.  You can't read this book like other books: from cover to cover, one after another.  Well, I suppose one could but I think you would be missing out on huge opportunities for meditating and making these prayers your own prayers.

Here is one I have been meditating on the lately, especially the bold sections (Living by Prayer, p. 266-267):

O God of the open ear,
Teach me to live by prayer as well as by providence,
           for myself, soul, body, children, family, church;
Give me a heart frameable to thy will;
           so might I live in prayer,
           and honour thee,
           being kept from evil, known and unknown.
Help me to see the sin that accompanies all I do,
           and the good I can distil from everything.
Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring my will to thine,
           and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is to command Christ,
           to be above him, and wiser than he:
           this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
          according to thy precept and promise,
          and to be done with as it pleases thee,
          according to thy sovereign will.
When thou commandest me to pray
                 for pardon, peace, brokenness,
          it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised,
                for thy glory,
                as well as for my good.
Help me not only to desire small things
         but with holy boldness to desire great things
                for thy people, for myself,
                that they and I might live to show thy glory.
Teach me
        that it is wisdom for me to pray for all I have,
               out of love, willingly, not of necessity;
        that I may come to thee at any time,
               to lay open my needs acceptably to thee;
        that my great sin lies in my not keeping
               the savour of the ways;
        that the remembrance of this truth is one way
               to the sense of thy presence;
        that there is no wrath like the wrath of being 
               governed by my own lusts for my own ends.

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