Good Friday Prayer

From the Valley of Vision

My Father,
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips,
Supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres [shines] at Calvary.’

There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,
Made a transgressor, a curse and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow;
There the infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was endured.

Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might lift up mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might live forever.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
all this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
help me to adore thee by lips and life.

O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portals open.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

A New Year’s Dedication

Almighty God, as we cross the threshold of this year we commit ourselves, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, and bless us. Incline our heart to thy ways. Mold us wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May our lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise. Let those around see us living by Thy Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as never-dimmed lights, showing holiness in all our doings.  Let no evil this year soil our thoughts, words, hands. May we travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let our affection be in heaven, and our love soar upward in flames of fire, our gaze fixed on unseen things, our eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May we view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of our Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this year all our communications according to Thy wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that we should not be profited or made profitable. May we speak each word as if our last word, and walk each step as our final one. If our lives should end this year, let this be our best year.

 

Adapted from The Valley of Vision: Morning Dedication

Year’s End

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.

I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow

I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow – Indelible Grace

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face

Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way
As did drive me to despair

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request
And by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest

Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part

Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low

Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
“Tis in this way” The Lord replied
“I answer prayer for grace and faith”

“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me.”

This week I’ve learned that I am very prideful. I have often prayed:

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction.”

But did I ever understand what I was asking for? No. And in that I see God’s grace because otherwise I never would have prayed to be purified, not in this way, not through such a painful and heart wrenching trial. Then I never would have felt such a strong sense of joy and happiness, knowing that I’ve forgiven and been forgiven, and knowing that I am loved and can still love. I thought I was being destroyed but in reality I was being driven to a new reliance on Him. I believe that I’ve been broken and destroyed this week so that I would reexamine my life. I see my pride and weakness more clearly now and while I’m writing this at an hour past midnight, I can say that I’ve learned a bit more about what it means to trust God. In my pride I doubted God’s plan, his goodness and his love for me. We can’t see or know God’s plan but faith is believing in what we do not yet see. All the trials and agonies of this life, the pains inflicted by those dearest to us and the sufferings we endure can be used by God to teach and transform us. Through the trials and in this way of faith we can confess with David, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”(Ps 27:10, NIV) While also saying, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”(Ps 133:1)

 

This week I also I learned that I loved and will continue loving my friends. I learned that I trusted and will continue to trust my friends, but can’t view them as infallible, I can’t make idols out of them. I’ve learned that my friends deeply love and trusted me in ways I’ve never understood or realized. I certainly have regrets. I regret the stupid and hurtful things I’ve said  to others and the hurtful things done to me; I regret the things I’ve done to myself and the harm I’ve inflected on my body; I regret most of all the sins I’ve committed against a Holy and Loving God. I questioned his plan and went so far as to doubt his love. But perhaps, as a result of this sanctified affliction, I’ve also gained a glimpse of the meaning to this part of the same prayer:

“I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.”

-“Confession and Petition,” The Valley of Vision.

 

Refuge

Refuge

O Lord, Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me,  nor prove obstacles to the progress of Thy cause. Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall,  no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments. May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own. Permit me not to labour at work which Thou wilt not bless, that I may serve thee without disgrace or debt. Let me dwell in Thy most secret place under thy shadow, where is safe impenetrable protection from  the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the strife of tongues, the malice of ill-will, the hurt of unkind talk, the snares of company, the perils of youth, the temptations of middle life, the moumings of old age, the fear of death. I am entirely dependent upon Thee for support, counsel, consolation. Uphold me by Thy free Spirit, and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may I always go forward, always abounding in the work Thou givest me to do. Strengthen me by Thy Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life. All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in Theemy name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end. Take them, they are Thine, and I am thine, now and for ever.

From the Valley of Vision

Monday Day Evening: Bounty

This is the third post from a series of prayers found in The Valley of Vision.

Thou Great and only Potentate,

Thou hast made summer and winter, day and night;
each of these revolutions serves our welfare
and is full of thy care and kindness.

Thy bounty is seen in
the relations that train us,
the laws that defend us,
the homes that shelter us,
the food that builds us,
the raiments that comfort us,
the continuance of our health, members, senses,
understanding, memory, affection, will.

But as stars fade before the rising sun,
thou hast eclipsed all these benefits
in the wisdom and grace that purposed
redemption by Jesus thy Son.

Blessed be thy mercy that laid help on
one that is mighty and willing,
on htat is able to save to the uttermost.

Make us deeply sensible of our need
of his saving grace,
of the blood that cleanses,
of the rest he has promised.

And impute to us that righteousness
which justifies the guilty,
gives them a title to eternal life,
and possession of the Spirit.

May we love the freeness of salvation,
and joy in its holiness;
Give us faith to grasp thy promises,
that are our hope,
provide for every exigency,
and prevent every evil.

Keep our hearts from straying after forbidden pleasures;
May thy will bind all our wishes;
Let us live out of the world as to its spirit,
maxim, and manners,
but live in it as the sphere of our action and usefulness;

May we be alive to every call of duty,
accepting without question
thy determination of our circumstances
and our service.

We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ,
who, with You and the Holy Spirit.
lives and reigns forever.
Amen.

Monday Morning: God Over All

This is the second post from a series of prayers found in The Valley of Vision.

O God All Sufficient,

Thou hast made and upholdest all things
by the power of thy word;
darkness is they pavilion,
thou walkest on the wings of the wind;
all nations are nothing before thee;
one generation succeeds another,
and we hasten back to the dust;
the heavens we behold will vanish away
like the clouds that cover them,
the earth we tread on will dissolve as a morning dream.

But thou, unchangeable and incorruptible,
art for ever and ever,
God over all, blessed eternally.
Infinitely great and glorious art thou.

We are thy offspring and thy care.
Thy hands have made and fashioned us.
Thou hast watched over us with
more than paternal love,
more than maternal tenderness.
Thou hast holden our soul in life,
and not suffered our feet to be moved.
Thy divine power has given us all things
necessary for life and godliness.

Let us bless thee at all times
and forget not how thou hast
forgiven our iniquities,
healed our diseases,
redeemed our lives from destruction,
crowned us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
You have satisfied our mouths with good things
and renewed our youth like the eagle’s.

May thy Holy Scriptures
govern every part of our lives,
and regulate the discharge of our duties,
so that we may adorn thy doctrine in all things.

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
forever and ever,
Amen.