My spiritual longings are of they planting…

This morning I read and prayed a prayer from The Valley of Vision, called Earth & Heaven. The middle section struct me so powerfully:

 

My spiritual longings are of thy planting,

and thou wilt water and increase them;

Quicken my hunger and thirst after the realm above.

Here I can have the world,

there I shall have thee in Christ;

Here is a life of longings and prayer,

there is assurance without suspicion,

asking without refusal;

Here are gross comforts, more burden than benefit,

there joy without sorrow, comfort without suffering,

love without inconstancy,

rest without weariness.

Give me to know that heaven is all love,

where the eye affects the heart,

and continual viewing of thy beauty

keeps the soul in continual transports of delight.

 

 

I ask great things…

Today, as I return from a two week break, I read the following prayer as part of my morning devotions. What a great way to start a new term:

O Lord of the oceans,

my little bark sails on a restless sea,

Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely;

Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course;

Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals;

Bring me to harbour with flying pennants,

hull unbreached, cargo unspoiled.

I ask great things,

expect great things,

shall receive great things.

I venture on thee wholly, fully, my wind, sunshine, anchor, defence.

From The Valley of Vision

Pilgrims

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; – Phil 3:20

 

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. – 1 Peter 2:11

 

Today as opened my increasingly dogeared copy of ‘The Valley of Vision’, I read these prayerful words:

Lord of the cloud and fire,

I am a stranger, with a stranger’s indifference;

My hands hold a pilgrim’s staff,

My march is Zionward,

My eyes are toward the coming of the Lord,

My heart is in thy hands without reserve.

Thou has created it, redeemed it, renewed it, captured it, conquered it.

Keep from it every opposing foe,

crush in it ever rebel lust,

mortify every treacherous passion,

annihilate every earthborn desire.

All faculties of my being vibrate to thy touch;

I love thee with soul, mind, body, strength, might, spirit, affection, will, desire, intellect, understanding.

 

 

Be thou my light

The following is a wonderful prayer from The Valley of Vision. It reminds me of my daily need of Jesus (and only him).

 

Lord Jesus,

I am blind, be thou my light, ignorant, be thou my wisdom, self-willed, be thou my mind.

Open my ear to grasp quickly they Spirit’s voice, and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;

Melt my conscience that no hardness remain, make it alive to evil’s slightest touch;

When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds, and there cease to tremble at all alarms.

Be my good shepherd to lead me into the green pastures of thy Word, and cause me to lie down beside the river of its comforts.

Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.

 

A prayer for change

In these opening words from a prayer found in The Valley of Vision, we read the heart longings of someone who recognises his need for constant change:

“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,
they fruitfulness as autumn plenty
-The valley of vision

 

 

A prayer for today: Let me abide in thee

The following is part of a prayer in ‘The Valley of Vision’ (a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions) titled ‘Sincerity’. It is a beautiful prayer to start the day with.

 

“May nothing render me forgetful of they glory,

or turn me aside from they commands,

or shake my confidence in they promises,

or offend they children.

Let not my temporal occupations injure my spiritual concerns,

or the cares of life make me neglect the one thing needful.

May I not be inattentive to the design of thy dealings with me,

or insensible under thy rebukes,

or immobile at thy calls.

May I learn the holy art of abiding in thee,

of being in the world and not of it,

of making everything not only consistent with

but conducive to my religion.”

 

A brutally honest prayer to a gloriously gracious God.

A brutally honest prayer, that leads us to greater dependency and security in the arms of “Abba” (Father God):

“Dear Abba, Rather than a life of faith I seem to be living a life of contingencies. Rather than an open-armed yes! I’ve got an anxious brow and nervous hands and a mouthful of what ifs? I truly am a prodigal, demanding my cake and eating it too when all I really want to do is go home to that safe place where I don’t have to be afraid, where everything is freedom and light and love. I want to experience the glorious liberty of a child of God. And so this day I will not ask what if? but rather why not? Yes, why not!”

from Dear Abba by Brennan Manning