When meditations escape out of quivering lips, and passionate pleas become droplets of linguistic scripts, we find some of the greatest literature ever written. The ‘art of living’ captured in words. We set aside time to synchronize the messages within, to the “then and now.” We call them literary giants. Classics to be read over and over again, not because we are obligated to read them, but because they are that good!
In this New Year as we take time to schedule out the future…My recommendation, read some literary giants of prayer. We say prayers, but have you ever considered reading them? A reading, not for liturgical formality, but for pleasure? Maybe you write your prayers? I would love to hear from you! This is not an area I have practiced much, but have been contemplating more and more. Reading prayers, like mini sermonettes throughout the week. There is a beautiful richness to the art of written prayer. One such resource I have come to really enjoy is the Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers. Do you have some favorites? Please comment below!
I am trying to memorize one in particular. A prayer that is keenly aware of the need for present salvation as future realities unfold day by day. So, if I were to make a New Year’s resolution, it would be,
A Present Salvation
CREATOR AND REDEEMER GOD,
Author of all existence, source of all
I adore thee for making me capable of knowing thee,
for giving me reason and conscience
for leading me to desire thee;
I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in the gospel,
for they heart as a dwelling place of pity,
for thy thoughts of peace towards me,
for thy patience and thy graciousness,
for the vastness of thy mercy.
Thou hast moved my conscience to know how
the guilty can be pardoned,
the unholy sanctified,
the poor enriched.
May I be always amongst those who not only
hear but know thee,
who walk with and rejoice in thee,
who take thee at thy word and find life there.
Keep me always longing
for a present salvation in Holy Spirit comforts
for spiritual graces and blessings,
for help to value my duties as well as my privileges.
May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity
Help me to be in reality before thee
as in appearance I am before men,
to be religious before I profess religion,
to leave the world before I enter the church,
to set my affections on things above,
to shun forbidden follies and vanities,
to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.
O God, make me worthy of this calling,
that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me
and I in him.
Resource: Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, published by The Banner of Truth Trust