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The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions Paperback – November 1, 1975
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Top Customer Reviews
The Puritans recognized that prayer and doctrine are not to be separated. In their prayers they kept the two together. In fact it was their doctrinal understanding, which indeed produced such deep, and lasting prayers. Theology instilled a thorough passion for prayer. Likewise it is prayer, which sinks us deeper into the mysteries of God's self-disclosure of himself. It is prayer, which furthers our theology.
It is to this end which we, as Christians must strive. We must search out our Triune God in prayer and devotion as we seek him in his word and through our prayers.
Arthur Bennett has provided the Church a great service by collecting the prayers of the saints. The book is arranged topically under the following headings: 1. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; 2. Redemption and Reconciliation; 3. Penitence and Deprecation; 4. Needs and Devotions; 5. Holy Aspirations; 6. Approach to God; 7. Gifts of Grace; 8. Service and Ministry; 9. Valediction; 10. A Week's Shared Prayers.
This book is excellent for both private and public devotion. The only disadvantage I found to the book was that each individual prayer was not attributed to its corresponding author. However this is probably a good idea in keeping with the intent of the book. Its intention is as a guide to lead us to prayer when the heart is cold or to further pour fuel on the heart, which is already aflame.
May this be used of the Lord to ignite our hearts in a holy passion toward him. O' Lord teach us to pray!
"The Name of Jesus" (p. 21)
Thou readest the heart,
viewest principles and motives of actions,
seest more defilement in my duties
than I ever saw in any of my sins.
The heavens are not clean in thy sight,
and thou chargest the angels with folly;
I am ready to flee from myself because of my abominations;
Yet thou dost not abhor me
but hast devised means for my return to thee,
and that, by thy Son who died to give me life.
Thine honour is secured and displayed even in my escape from
and that, by means of Jesus
in whom mercy and truth meet together,
and righteousness and peace kiss each other.
In Him the enslaved find redemption,
the guilty pardon,
the unholy renovation;
In Him are everlasting strength for the weak,
unsearchable riches for the needy,
treasures of wisdom and knowledge for the ignorant,
fullness for the empty.
At thy gracious call I hear, take, come, apply, receive his grace,
not only submit to his mercy but acquiesce in it,
not only glory in the cross but in him crucified and slain,
not only joy in forgiveness but in the one through whom
Thy blessings are as secure as they are glorious;
Thou hast provided for my safety and my prosperity,
and hast promised that I shall stand firm and grow stronger.
O Lord God, without the pardon of my sin I cannot rest satisfied
without the renovation of my nature by grace I can never
without the hopes of heaven I can never be at peace.
All this I have in thy Son Jesus; blessed be his name.
Each prayer is about one page long, has a brief title given by the book's editor, and is presented anonymously. The prayers are grouped into sections such as "Redemption and Reconciliation," "Holy Aspirations," and "Approach to God." A brief preface is the only background given, all the rest of the book is simply the prayers themselves.
I have only two faults with the book, but neither merit rating it less than five stars. First, the titles of the sections closely describe the main theme of that section, but the titles of the individual prayers do not consistently (in my mind) state the main theme of that prayer. Second, the prayers are not attributed to their authors, and I would very much like to know who wrote each one. However, I will allow that perhaps Arthur Bennett intended for us not to know so we would focus on the Creator rather than the creature.
One other thing to mention is that this is one of the most sturdy, well-published paperback books I have seen. After carrying this book on my commute to work for reading, it has held up much better than other paperbacks. The pages were so thick I often had to check the page numbers to make sure I had not skipped a page.
I highly recommend this book for all Christians for personal study to receive greater conviction of sin, more language to express your devotion to God, and instruction on how to pray fervently.