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Valley of Vision (Leather): A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions Leather Bound – March 1, 2003
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From the Publisher
The Valley of Vision (Leather)
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.
'When used slowly, for meditation and prayer, these pages have often been used by God's Spirit to kindle my dry heart.' --MARK DEVER
'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
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.
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Bennett writes that the Puritan Movement was a religious phenomenon of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but its influence continued at least to the time of the great Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–92), who may be regarded as the last of the great Puritans. Bennett composed the first prayer himself. He tells us the authors and books he is quoting – from the works of Thomas Shepard, Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, William Williams, Philip Doddridge, William Romaine, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, Christmas Evans, William Jay, Henry Law and Charles Haddon Spurgeon – but he doesn’t tell us which works or author is associated with each individual prayer.
Bennett’s desire is that the publication of these prayers will help to introduce people of today to the Puritans and their writings. It is a wonderful resource to read in daily devotions, which is how I use it. Bennett states that the book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. He writes that the soul learns to pray by praying. Thus, the prayers should be used as aspiration units, with the Puritan’s prayers becoming springboards for our own prayers. A final section of the book has been added for occasions of corporate worship.
This is a wonderful resource that I cannot recommend too highly to include as a part of your daily worship.
This book arranges the words of Spurgeon, Bunyan, and other noted Puritans of times past (and present?) into a pleasing, verse-like format, which is as pleasing aesthetically as the words themselves are inspiring and devoted to the Lord.
I've not been sure whether to put this with my poetry collections or with my theological books, in my library! And I think this is a VERY GOOD thing; more theological books ought to be arranged and presented this way!