I am using the Lenten season of the Church year to present a series of varied resources for spiritual formation. Last week I highlighted an excellent print and online news publication which is extremely helpful in developing/maintaining a Christian worldview.
This week, I’d like to introduce you to a body of work which exists in several formats. It is at least a couple of hundred years old… and I just discovered it a month ago.
I have to give a hat tip once again to The Park Forum’s devotional blog, 843 Acres, which reprinted one of these extraordinary prayers and noted its source as a book titled The Valley of Vision. This book is still available in paperback and hardcover, both from Amazon and Christianbook.com.
I was even able to find an inexpensive e-version for my Nook, which is simply titled Puritan Prayers–and appears to be the same collection.
More recently, I’ve found an excellent website, puritanprayers.org, which calls itself a “curated collection” of these prayers. This website seeks to be:
- “A place to find puritan prayers easily by performing a search.
- A place to provide the data for these prayers in an open format so other christian developers can use it in their own apps.
- A place to continue to collect and curate these prayers.
- Most importantly a place to find prayers in a time of need when words escape you and you need to speak with God.“
I shared one of these prayers on my devotional blog, Winnowing, on Sunday. Here is another–in fact, the first one to which I was drawn. It (and the one I’ve linked above) are strong examples of the kind of heart-felt, brutally honest, deeply biblical words which are to be found in this collection. [Formatting is my own.]
O Lord of Grace, the world is before me this day, and I am weak and fearful, but I look to Thee for strength. If I venture forth alone I stumble and fall, but on the Beloved’s arms I am firm as the eternal hills. If left to the treachery of my heart I shall shame Thy Name, but if enlightened, guided, upheld by Thy Spirit, I shall bring Thee glory.
To enrich me will not diminish Thy fullness; all Thy loving-kindness is in Thy Son–I bring Him to Thee in the arms of faith; I urge His saving Name as the One who died for me. I plead His blood to pay my debts of wrong.
Accept His worthiness for my unworthiness,
His sinlessness for my transgressions,
His purity for my uncleanness,
His sincerity for my guile,
His truth for my deceits,
His meekness for my pride,
His constancy for my backslidings,
His love for my enmity,
His fullness for my emptiness,
His faithfulness for my treachery,
His obedience for my lawlessness,
His glory for my shame,
His devotedness for my waywardness,
His holy life for my unchaste ways,
His righteousness for my dead works,
His death for my life.