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.