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Borrowing Brains: Valley of Vision

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and DevotionsI’m reading through The Valley of Vision very, very slowly. Every line is so packed with fuel for meditation that a few pages at a time is all I can take. It’s been a delight.

I’d love to hear (a) your impressions of the book, and (b) a few of the lines the Lord has especially used to minister to you. I’d be edified by reading some of your favorite lines, perhaps with an explanation of what makes them precious to you. Grace.

(Note: Here’s some interesting information from Justin Taylor on Arthur Bennett, who compiled the Puritan prayers for Banner of Truth.)

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5 Responses

  1. I love the focus on (and beautiful description of) the saving work of each member of the Trinity in the following:

    O Father, thou has loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;
    O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature, shed thine own blood to wash away my sins, wrought righteousness to cover my unworthiness;
    O Holy Spirit, thou has loved me and entered my heart, implanted there eternal life, revealed to me the glories of Jesus.

  2. The one on heaven that ends “and lead me to it soon” just gets me every time.

    I love the poetic balance (my term . . . probably not anything technically meaningful) so common to the prayers in this collection.

  3. They are beautiful, Ben. Like hymns in their parallelism, symmetry, etc.

  4. I received a leather-bound version as a gift, and I’ve slowly been working through it. It’s definitely not a book you can race through. I do wish, though, that they identified the authors/sources for each prayer somewhere.

  5. I love several lines from the middle of Paradoxes:

    “Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite, who sins more safely because grace abounds, who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them, who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for he is saved, who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives unholily… Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.”

    and also The Deeps:

    “Give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it, and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone. Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me a deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.

    Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly Husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until thou alone art seen in me, thy beauty golden like summer harvest, thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty… Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.”

    These prayers remind me of my sin’s subtle nature and my continual need for more growth and more brokenness.

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