In the January 2016 entry, I posted a New Year’s prayer that came from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers. The prayers within this book have rattled the way I think. They have stretched me, convicted me, encouraged me, challenged me, inspired me, corrected me…and I could go on and on.
One thing I know is that my life has a lot of room for improvement. Reading some of the prayers have caused me to ask myself, “Why don’t I think like that?” I have found these prayers to be inspiring on one end, and humiliating on the other. No one wants to be humiliated, but that’s not always a bad thing. Isn’t the root word of humiliation, humble? We all could use a dose of humility, no matter where we are in our walk with Christ. And many of these prayers, if considered and prayed honestly, have the potential to do that.
The following prayer, God the Source of All Good, is another one of them. I have read this prayer (prayed this prayer) many, many times. And each time I read it, I discover that its impact on me never wanes. It continues to make me face myself, my weaknesses, and my character flaws. And friend, that is the only way God’s Kingdom can be built in us…if we first recognize our “…need of renovation as well as of forgiveness.”
The highlighted parts of the prayer are the parts that rock me every time. After you read them, you might be thinking, “Then you are a great sinner.” Perhaps. But at least I know I need work. And that’s a start.
God the Source of All Good
O Lord God, who inhabitest eternity,
The heavens declare thy glory,
The earth thy riches,
The universe is thy temple;
Thy presence fills immensity,
Yet thou hast of thy pleasure created life,
and communicated happiness;
Thou hast made me what I am, and given me what I have;
In thee I live and move and have my being;
Thy providence has set the bounds of my habitation,
and wisely administers all my affairs.
I thank thee for thy riches to me in Jesus,
for the unclouded revelation of him in thy Word,
Where I behold his Person, character, grace, glory,
humiliation, sufferings, death, and resurrection;
Give me to feel a need of his continual saviorhood,
and cry with Job, ‘I am vile‘,
with Peter, ‘I perish‘,
with the publican, ‘Be merciful to me, a sinner‘.
Subdue in me the love of sin,
Let me know the need of renovation as well as of forgiveness,
In order to serve and enjoy thee for ever.
I come to thee in the all-prevailing name of Jesus,
with nothing of my own to plead,
no works, no worthiness, no promises.
I am often straying,
often knowingly opposing thy authority,
often abusing thy goodness;
Much of my guilt arises from my religious privileges,
my low estimation of them,
my failure to use them to my advantage,
But I am not careless of thy favour or regardless of thy glory;
Impress me deeply with a sense of thine
omnipresence, that thou art about my path,
My ways, my lying down, my end.
Here’s to walking more closely with Christ this month.
“We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”
– C.S. Lewis