The Worship Quote of the Week for (05/17/2005):

The Holy Spirit as Teacher in the School of Christ
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from Arthur Bennett’s THE VALLEY OF VISION. This particular prayer came to mind because of this week’s attention to Pentecost, the coming of the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Notice in the poem (and in the Scriptures) how the Spirit serves to exalt Christ. [I trust that the archaic language found herein for thee a hindrance will not be.]


That which I know not, teach thou me,
Keep me a humble disciple in the school of Christ,
learning daily there what I am in myself,
a fallen sinful creature,
justly deserving everlasting destruction;
O let me never lose sight of my need of a saviour,
or forget that apart from him I am nothing, and can do nothing.
Open my understanding to know the Holy Scriptures;
Reveal to my soul the counsels and works of the blessed Trinity;
Instil into my dark mind the saving knowledge of Jesus;
Make me acquainted with his covenant undertakings
and his perfect fulfillment of them,
that by resting on his finished work
I may find the Father’s love in the Son,
his Father, my Father,
and may be brought through thy influence
to have fellowship with the Three in One.
O lead me into all truth, thou Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
that I may know the things that belong unto my peace,
and through thee be made anew.
Make practical upon my heart the Father’s love
as thou has revealed it in the Scriptures;
Apply to my soul the blood of Christ, effectually, continually,
and help me to believe, with conscience comforted,
that it cleanseth from all sin;
Lead me from faith to faith,
that I may at all times have freedom to come to a reconciled Father,
and may be able to maintain peace with him
against doubts, fears, corruptions, temptations.
Thy office is to teach me to draw near to Christ with a pure heart,
steadfastly persuaded of his love,
in the full assurance of faith,
Let me never falter in this way.

—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. 32. 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 prayer will help us to remember how the Spirit serves to encourage us as disciples in the school of Christ.

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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