Valley of Vision

Valley of Vision Prayer for the New Year

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from Arthur Bennett’s THE VALLEY OF VISION. In this prayer for the beginning of a new year, the author postures himself before God's magnificent providence and grace. [I trust that the archaic language found herein for thee a hindrance will not be; neither shall a rocking of thy bark ensue.]

NEW YEAR
O LORD,
Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed
in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains,
sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbor,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

—Arthur Bennett, editor. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1999 (first published in 1975), p. 112. ISBN 0-85151-228-3.


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

The Valley of Vision on The Gift of Gifts

O Source of all good,


What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts, 
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.


Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
he was born like me that I might become like him.


Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on 
wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.


Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart 
he united them in indissoluble unity, 
the uncreated and the created.


Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost, 
as man to die my death, 
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.


O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, 
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father,
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child 
to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.


In him thou hast given me so much 
that heaven can give no more.

——Arthur Bennett, editor. VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 2003 (first published in 1975), p. 28. ISBN 0-85151-821-4.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS: 

In the preface to this volume, the author (who calls himself the editor) writes, "A poetic form has been adopted throughout as an aid to easier comprehension and utterance. Each prayer consists of a number of main clauses with subsidiary clauses that illuminate and enlarge the subject. In this way and opportunity is provided for pauses and reflections. . . This 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.

To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quotes of the Week, click below.