I confess I've been a poor Bible scribe within the past month. I have been reading, but lazy to move a pen over paper. I strive to remedy my shortcoming this week, yet not today. I am indulging in a book I purchased yesterday, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. The title is drawn from Isaiah 22:1, and here is the prayer which shares the same title:
"Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley."
As I read this prayer, my heart joins in unison! Other such poetic prayers of iron are in the book: to God the All, The All-Good, Christ the Word; Confession and Petition, Yet I Sin, Shortcomings; Need of Grace, Need of Jesus, The Infinite and the finite; and at least 100 more. Johnny has read much more Church history* than I, and he says Puritans often get a bum rap for being prude, prissy, and stern. After praying several of their prayers this morning, I could not disagree more. They were honestly aware of their sins, but abundantly joyous reveling in forgiveness by Jesus's death and Resurrection. I have Katy to thank for my introduction to these Puritan prayers, and you may visit this web site to read many (not all) of the poetic petitions.
*If anyone knows of an excellent book on the history of the Puritans, please let me know ASAP. Thank y'all.
Posted by jenni at 1:48 PM