Belonging to Jesus: a prayer for the ages

Through a series of fortunate circumstances, I recently discovered a collection of Puritan prayers in a book entitled The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. The power of these prayers–though humble and unadorned–rivals the elegant and painstakingly crafted catechisms of the early church, and both now have a welcome niche in my thought-life. Today I’d like to share my favorite here, entitled “Belonging to Jesus.”

O HEAVENLY FATHER,
Teach me to see
that if Christ has pacified Thee and satisfied divine justice,
He can also deliver me from my sins;
that Christ does not desire me, now justified,
to live in self-confidence and in my own strength,
but gives me the law of the Spirit of Life, to enable me to obey Thee;
that the Spirit and His power are mine by resting on Christ’s  death;
that the Spirit of Life within answers to the law without;
that if I sin not I should thank Thee for it;
that if I sin I should be humbled daily under it;
that I should mourn for sin more than other men do,
for when I see I shall die because of sin that makes me mourn;
when I see how sin strikes at Thee, that makes me mourn;
when I see that sin caused Christ’s death, that makes me mourn;
that sanctification is the evidence of reconciliation,
proving that faith has truly apprehended Christ;
Thou hast taught me
that faith is nothing else than receiving Thy kindness;
that it is an adherence to Christ, a resting on Him,
love clinging to Him as a branch to the tree, to seek life and vigour from Him.
I thank Thee for showing me the vast difference between knowing things by reason,
and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
By reason I see a thing is so; by faith I know it as it is.
I have seen Thee by reason and have not been amazed,
I have seen Thee as Thou art in the Son and have been ravished to behold Thee!
I bless Thee that I am Thine in my Savior, Jesus.

  • Wow. That’s a good prayer. I love how it articulates our total depravity and the attitude we should thus have.

    • My favorite part is this:

      I thank Thee for showing me the vast difference between knowing things by reason,
      and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
      By reason I see a thing is so; by faith I know it as it is.
      I have seen Thee by reason and have not been amazed,
      I have seen Thee as Thou art in the Son and have been ravished to behold Thee!

  • Wow. That’s a good prayer. I love how it articulates our total depravity and the attitude we should thus have.

    • Paul

      My favorite part is this:

      I thank Thee for showing me the vast difference between knowing things by reason,
      and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
      By reason I see a thing is so; by faith I know it as it is.
      I have seen Thee by reason and have not been amazed,
      I have seen Thee as Thou art in the Son and have been ravished to behold Thee!

  • Dan Rogers

    A couple years ago (or so) I got one and keep it in my Bible cover. I refer to it as my “Hallmark cards” to God. Written prayers were never a part of my background. Actually they were frowned upon since those “others” use them. These are so well written. They express and remind me of my heart’s longing.

  • Dan Rogers

    A couple years ago (or so) I got one and keep it in my Bible cover. I refer to it as my “Hallmark cards” to God. Written prayers were never a part of my background. Actually they were frowned upon since those “others” use them. These are so well written. They express and remind me of my heart’s longing.

  • I meet each Monday morning with several deacons at RCC to pray. We begin by reading one of the prayers from the Valley of Vision. They are, indeed, beautiful prayers. I find that reading them is a helpful way to remind me that prayer isn’t just about asking God for all the things I want or all the things I want God to do for me. I’m often convicted when I read these Puritan prayers of my lack of introspection and humility. While sometimes I feel the authosr of the prayers may have been too hard on themselves, I realize that far too often I fail too far in the other direction.

  • I meet each Monday morning with several deacons at RCC to pray. We begin by reading one of the prayers from the Valley of Vision. They are, indeed, beautiful prayers. I find that reading them is a helpful way to remind me that prayer isn’t just about asking God for all the things I want or all the things I want God to do for me. I’m often convicted when I read these Puritan prayers of my lack of introspection and humility. While sometimes I feel the authosr of the prayers may have been too hard on themselves, I realize that far too often I fail too far in the other direction.

  • Steve Kindorf

    Hi, I thought you might like to use this on your web site, or for yourself. A free prayer book by Matthew Henry called ‘A Method for Prayer’ 1710 edition, with added devotional prayers, Bible helps and a glossary of 2400 words of the KJV. You can use the audio files for the book if you like. http://www.mrmatthewhenry.com