"The Valley of Vision"
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 soul,
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 seen from 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.
—Arthur Bennett, editor. VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999 (first published in 1975), xiii, 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.”]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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