In public and private, in sanctuary and home,
may my life be steeped in prayer,
filled with the spirit of grace and supplication,
each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood.
Help me, defend me, until from praying ground
I pass to the realm of unceasing praise.
Urged by my need,
Invited by thy promises,
Called by thy Spirit, I enter thy presence, worshipping thee with godly fear,
awed by thy majesty, greatness, glory,
but encouraged by thy love.
I am all poverty as well as all guilt,
having nothing of my own with which to repay thee,
But I bring Jesus to thee in the arms of faith,
pleading his righteousness to offset my iniquities,
rejoicing that he will weigh down the scales for me,
and satisfy thy justice.
I bless thee that great sin draws out great grace,
that, although the lest sin deserves infinite punishment
because done against an infinite God,
yet there is mercy for me,
for where guilt is most terrible,
there thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep.
Bless me by revealing to me more of his saving merits,
by causing thy goodness to pass before me,
by speaking peace to my contrite heart;
Strengthen me to give thee no rest
until Christ shall reign supreme within me
in every thought, word, and deed,
in a faith that purifies the heart,
overcomes the world, works by love,
fastens me to thee, and ever clings to the cross.
—Arthur Bennett, editor. VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999 (first published in 1975), p. 148. ISBN 0-85151-228-3.
[These VALLEY OF VISION prayers are constructed from the works of various Puritan pastors: Thomas Shephard, 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 Spurgeon. As one reads the various prayers, however, it is impossible to detect what exactly came from any particular author. The editor says, "The book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying; for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication. The prayers should therefore be used as aspiration units, the several parts of which could become springboards for the individual’s own prayer subjects."]
So perhaps this MEETING GOD prayer will be the springboard for your own prayer to God this day.
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary