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The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions Paperback – November 1, 1975
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From the Publisher
The Valley of Vision (Paperback)
The strength of Puritan character and life lay in prayer and meditation. In this practice the spirit of prayer was regarded as of first importance and the best form of prayer, for living prayer is the characteristic of genuine spirituality. Yet prayer is also vocal and may therefore on occasions be written. Consequently in the Puritan tradition there are many written prayers and meditations which constitute an important corpus of inspiring devotional literature. Too often ex tempore prayer lacks variety, order and definiteness. The reason for this lies partly in a neglect of due preparation. It is here that the care and scriptural thoroughness which others found necessary in their approach to God may be of help. This book has been prepared not to ‘supply’ prayers but to prompt and encourage the Christian as he treads the path on which others have gone before. The author was a Canon of St. Albans Cathedral, sometime Rector of Little Munden and Sacombe, Hertfordshire, and was for seventeen years a tutor in Biblical Theology and Christian Doctrine at All Nations Christian College. He died in October 1994 aged 79.
|The Valley of Vision (Leather)||Voices From the Past (Puritan Devotional Readings)||The Puritans Day By Day|
|Topic||Devotionals/Daily Readings||Devotionals/Daily Readings||Devotionals/Daily Readings|
'The prayers in The Valley of Vision are steeped in Scripture, yet never succumb to mere formula. They are theologically fresh and vibrant, yet they are rooted in confessionalism. They range over a huge sweep of Christian experience and devotion, but they are never merely esoteric or cute. They brim with deep emotion and transparent passion, but they carefully avoid mere sentimentalism. This is a book that teaches readers to pray by example.' --D.A. CARSON
'The Valley of Vision is a wonderful collection of Puritan prayers which both help to shape and inform our own private devotions and, perhaps more importantly, aid pastors as they seek to lead their congregations in prayer and into the presence of God.'
'I cannot commend enough The Valley of Vision, which is a compilation of over two-hundred pages of Puritan prayers (each of which are one page in length). I pray through one of these prayers every day. Sometimes the prayers are so meaningful and relevant that I will pray through the same prayer for days. This is a wonderful aid to supplement one s own prayers. Indeed, these prayers will also teach one how to pray, and, at the same time, they teach theological truth. I cannot think of any Christian who would not benefit from these prayers.'
'It's amazing how frequently the prayers from the little book The Valley of Vision show up in our worship services. The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers, and I would put them in that category. That is, they are thoughtful, reflective, and meditative. They're even written in a certain kind of cadence, if you've ever noticed, which is probably very intentional, so that they might be used in corporate settings. But they came out of a deep heart of communion with God.' --JOHN PIPER
About the Author
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Paperback : 223 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0851512283
- ISBN-13 : 978-0851512280
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Publisher : The Banner of Truth Trust (November 1, 1975)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS
edited by Arthur Bennett © 1975 (The Banner of Truth Trust: Carlisle, PA)
THE VALLEY OF VISION
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious spirit,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be see from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.
O Lord I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.
I could not have begun to love Thee hadst Thou not first loved me.
JESUS MY GLORY
O Father of Jesus,
Thou art beyond the grasp of my understanding,
but not beyond that of my love.
THE CONVICTING SPIRIT
Thou blessed Spirit, author of all grace and comfort,
Come, work repentance in my soul;
Represent sin to me in its odious colors that I may hate it;
Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God.
May I feel that I am a stranger and a pilgrim on earth,
declaring plainly that I seek a country,
my title to it becoming daily more clear,
my meetness for it more perfect,
my foretastes of it more abundant;
and whatsoever I do may be done in the Saviour's name.
All praise to Thee for electing me to salvation,
by foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
It is not feeling the Spirit that proves my saved state
but the truth of what Christ did perfectly for me.
All holiness in Him is by faith made mine,
as if I had done it.
All the treasures of a million worlds could not make me richer,
happier, more contended,
for His unsearchable riches are mine.
One moment of communion with Him, one view of His grace,
is ineffable, inestimable.
But O God, I could not long after Thy presence
if I did not know the sweetness of it.
A CONVERT'S FIRST PRAYER
Magnify Thy love to me according to its greatness,
and not according to my deserts or prayers,
and whatever increase Thou givest, let it draw out greater love to Thee.
LIVING FOR JESUS
O Savior of sinners,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
May I maintain a supreme regard to another and better world,
and feel and confess myself a stranger and a pilgrim here.
I am nothing but that Thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from Thee,
I can be nothing but grace adorns me.
O God of grace,
Thou hast imputed my sin to my Substitute,
and hast imputed His righteousness to my soul.
MAN A NOTHING
Lord, it is my chief design to bring my heart back to Thee.
Convince me that I cannot be my own God, or make myself happy,
nor my own Christ to restore my joy,
nor my own Spirit to teach, guide, rule me.
Take away my roving eye, curious ear, greedy appetite, lustful heart;
Show me that none of these things
can heal a wounded conscience,
or support a tottering frame,
or uphold a departing spirit.
Then take me to the cross and leave me there.
O Lord of grace,
I have been hasty and short in private prayer,
Keep me at all times from robbing Thee,
and from depriving my soul of Thy due worship;
Let me never forget that I have an eternal duty to love, honor and obey Thee,
that Thou art infinitely worthy of such.
NEED OF GRACE
O that all my distresses and apprehensions
might prove but Christ's school
to make me fit for greater service
by teaching me the great lesson of humility.
Blessed Lord Jesus, at Thy cross
may I be taught the awful miseries from which I am saved
THE INFINITE AND THE FINITE
Thou great I AM,
Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at the thought of a Being
with whom one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day,
A mighty God, who, amidst the lapse of worlds,
and the revolutions of empires,
feels no variableness.
but is glorious in immortality.
I desire to conquer self in every respect,
to live entirely to Thy glory,
to be deaf to unmerited censure and the praise of men.
I thank Thee 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.
If this day I have been ashamed of Christ and His word,
or have shown unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love,
unadvised speech, hasty temper,
let it be no stumbling block to others,
or dishonor to Thy name.
CONSECRATION AND WORSHIP
But when I have done all I can to eternity
I shall not be able to offer more than a small fraction
of the homage
that the glorious God deserves.
Stay my mind on His peace,
knowing that nothing can befall me
without His permission, appointment and administration.
May every part of my character and conduct
make a serious and amiable impression on others,
and impel them to ask the way to the Master.
THE PRAYER OF LOVE
Give me unwavering faith that supplications are never in vain,
that if I seem not to obtain my petitions
I shall have larger, richer answers,
surpassing all that I ask or think.
Thou didst live to bless,
die to bless,
rise to bless,
ascend to bless,
take Thy throne to bless,
and now Thou dost reign to bless.
A COLLOQUY ON REJOICING
Hast thou sought joys in some creature comfort?
Look not below God for happiness;
Let God be all in all to thee.
All Thy lovingkindness is in Thy Son,
Accept His worthiness for my unworthiness,
His sinlessness for my transgressions,
His purity for my uncleanness,
His sincerity for my guile,
His truth for my deceits,
His meekness for my pride,
His constancy for my backslidings,
His love for my enmity,
His fullness for my emptiness,
His faithfulness for my treachery,
His obedience for my lawlessness,
His glory for my shame,
His devotedness for my waywardness,
His holy life for my unchaste ways,
His righteousness for my dead works,
His death for my life.
Help me when I helpless lie
when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.
Show Thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power;
Thou hast a balm for every wound,
a solace for all anguish,
a remedy for every pain,
a peace for all disquietude.
Permit me to commit myself to Thee awake or asleep.
Help me never to expect any happiness from the world,
but only in Thee.
Help me not to think of living to Thee in my own strength,
but always to look to and rely on Thee for assistance.
GRACE IN TRIALS
Keep me sensible of my weakness,
and of my dependence upon Thy strength.
Let every trail teach me more of Thy peace,
more of Thy love.
And let me walk humbly in dependence upon Thee,
for Jesus' sake.
THE GRACE OF THE CROSS
O my Savior,
I thank Thee from the depth of my being
for Thy wondrous grace and love
in bearing my sin in Thine own body on the tree.
Use the cross to increase my intimacy with Thyself.
Thou hast also appointed a cross for me to take up and carry,
a cross before Thou givest me a crown.
Teach me, gracious Lord and Savior,
that with my cross Thou sendest promised grace
so that I may bear it patiently,
that my cross is Thy yoke which is easy,
and Thy burden which is light.
May I learn the holy art of abiding in Thee,
and being in the world and not of it.
To bring honor to Thy name is my sole desire.
O that all men night love and praise Thee,
that Thou mightest have all glory from the intelligent world!
O do Thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!
Let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;
let me be willing to die to that end.
SERVICE AND EQUIPMENT
Enable me to undertake some task for Thee,
for this refreshes and animates mu soul,
so that I could endure all hardships and labor,
and willingly suffer for Thy name.
Fit me to see my own nothingness,
and wonder that I am allowed to serve Thee.
So shall I fulfill the great end of my being –
to glorify Thee and be a blessing to men.
A DISCIPLE'S RENEWAL
May I never seek in a creature
what can be found only in the Creator.
A MINISTER'S CONFESSION
It is my deceit to preach, and pray,
and to stir up others' spiritual affections
in order to beget commendations.
But Thou dost show Thy power by mt frailty,
so that the more feeble I am, the more fit to be used,
for Thou dost pitch a tent of grace in my weakness.
A MINISTER'S BIBLE
O God of truth,
I thank Thee for the holy Scriptures,
their precepts, promises, directions, light.
Show me Christ when I search the Scriptures.
THE LORD'S DAY
O Lord my Lord
This is the day,
the heavenly ordinance of rest,
the open door of worship,
the record of Jesus' resurrection,
the seal of the sabbath to come,
the day when saints militant and triumphant unite in endless song.
Flood my mind with peace beyond understanding;
May my heart be more knit to Jesus.
LORD'S DAY MORNING
Let me go to Thy house with the lively hope of meeting Thee,
Let me cry before the broken elements, emblems of our dying love,
cry to Thee with broken heart for grace and forgiveness.
I long for that blissful communion of Thy people
in Thy eternal house in a perfect kingdom.
Give me power by Thy Spirit to help me worship now,
Crowns to give Thee I have none,
but what Thou hast given I return,
content to feel that everything is mine when it is Thine,
and the more fully mine when I have yielded it to Thee.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
When I gaze upon the emblems of my Savior's death,
may I ponder why He died, and hear Him say,
"I gave My life to purchase yours,
presented Myself an offering to expiate your sin,
shed My blood to blot out your guilt,
opened My side to make you clean,
endured your curses to set you free,
bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice."
In the supper I remember His eternal love, boundless grace,
infinite compassion, agony, cross, redemption,
and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory.
As the outward elements nourish my body,
so may Thy indwelling Spirit invigorate my soul,
until that day when I hunger and thirst no more,
and sit with Jesus at His heavenly feast.
THE MINISTER BEFORE SACRAMENT
Teach me the nature of a sacrament as a seal and pledge of love,
that Christ is faithful to make Himself
a present reality to His own who are guests at His table.
Heal me now, as I approach Thy table,
and fill me with all grace, with Thyself.
LORD'S DAY EVENING
Most holy God,
May the close of an earthly sabbath
remind me that the last of them will one day end.
Animate me with joy that in heaven praise will never cease,
that adoration will continue for ever,
that no flesh will grow weary,
no congregation disperse,
no affections flag,
no thoughts wander,
no will droop,
but all will be adoring love.
Wing me through earthly forms to Thy immediate presence.
Let all who see me take knowledge
that I have been with Thee.
I praise and bless Thee for my sabbath rest,
my calm conscience,
my peace of heart.
RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
May I be daily more and more conformed to Thee,
with a feeling sense of the felicity of heaven,
where in me the image of my adored Savior
will be completely restored,
so that I may be fit for His enjoyments and employments.
Until then let me continually glow and burn out for Thee,
and when the last great change shall come
let me awake in Thy likeness,
leaving behind me an example that will glorify Thee
while my spirit rejoices in heaven,
and my memory is blessed upon earth,
with those who follow me praising Thee for my life.
SECOND DAY EVENING
May we be alive to every call of duty, accepting without question
Thy determination of our circumstances and our service.
THIRD DAY MORNING
Assure us that we shall at last enter Immanuel's land
where none is sick, and the sun will always shine.
THIRD DAY EVENING
God of all sovereignty,
Thy greatness is unsearchable,
Thy name most excellent,
Thy glory above the heavens;
Ten thousand minister to Thee,
Ten thousand times ten thousand stand before Thee.
And with the innumerable company who neither slumber nor rest
we join in ascribing blessing, honor, glory and power
to the Lamb upon the throne, for ever and ever.
SEVENTH DAY EVENING
May we know the blessedness of men whose strength is in Thee,
and in whose hearts are the highways to heaven.
"Let angels sing for
Satan's captives released,
blind eyes opened,
the despondent cheered,
the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened
and saints built up in their holy faith.
I ask great things of a great God."
Top reviews from other countries
Great to use personally or corporately this collection is a treasure trove of God exalting prayers. It lifts the Christians eyes to the cross and the God of heaven and will be a rich blessing to all who pick it up. I only wish I had known about it sooner.
This is a great introduction to the puritans and the way they write. There is a deep honesty in the prayers of contrition that we would expect to hear from someone truly convicted of their sin. One entry titled ‘Purification’ contains the following words: ‘Lord Jesus, I sin – Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it….Deliver me Attachment from things unclean…that with self-loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching, I may come to thee, cast myself on thee, trust in thee, cry to thee and be delivered by thee.’
In this book are collections of prayers and thoughts titled: ‘God the all’, ‘Divine Mercies’, ‘Praise and Thanksgiving’ and ‘Fullness in Christ’. There is truly a ‘song for every season’.
‘The Valley of Vision’ has been one of the best purchases I have ever made and it has assisted my prayers and how I bring my sins and worries to the Lord. I pray that it will do the same for you.
Soli Deo Gloria
Like another reviewer, I would have liked to know the author of each prayer.