A Puritan Prayer Book: Valley of Vision

I’ve been spending time recently reading, thinking and praying through a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions called The Valley of Vision. The Puritans were thorough in their study, which spilled over into their prayers. Second only to the Psalms, these prayers are a great means of stretching our own verbage as we petition the throne of grace. Below is a personal favorite:

PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

O MY GOD,

Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,

my heart admires, adores, loves thee,

for my little vessel is as full as it can be,

and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee

ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,

ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,

ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,

crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou has created,

for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body though has given me,

for preserving its strength and vigour,

for providing senses to enjoy delights,

for the ease and freedom of my limbs,

for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,

for a full table and overflowing cup,

for appetite, taste, sweetness,

for social joys of relatives and friends,

for ability to serve others,

for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,

for a mind to care for my fellow-men,

for opportunities of spreading happiness around,

for loved ones in the joys of heaven,

for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to they creatures

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

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