Praying the gospel

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

I  have mentioned before in this blog the incredible book of Puritan prayers known as The Valley of Vision. There is something about the combination of 17th-19th century language (complete with many SAT words) and the gospel declaration of the depth of our sin and the beauty of God’s love for sinners that speaks to me in a way that is very different than today’s average Christian book or devotional. Below are snippets from some of the prayers that are particularly meaningful to me. May these words humble you and lift you up as you meditate on the gospel of Jesus’ death for you:

“No poor creature stands in need of divine grace more than I do,
     and yet none abuses it more than I have done, and still do.
How heartless and dull I am!
Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.” (From Amazing Grace)
 
“Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,
     wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,
     and made me ready for my departure hence.
Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this stormy sea.” (from The Mover)
 
            “May I [at the cross] see my sins as the nails that transfixed him,
                                                                      the cords that bound him,
                                                                      the thorns that tore him,
                                                                      the sword that pierced him.” (From The Spirit’s Work)
 
            “Return again with showers of converting grace
                 To a poor gospel-abusing sinner.” (From Need of Grace)
 
            “I will not love a world that crucified him,
                 neither cherish nor endure the sin that put him to grief” (From A Neophyte’s Devotion)
 
            “I am not yet weaned from all created glory,
                 honor, wisdom, and esteem of others,
                 for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.” (From The Dark Guest)
 
            “Keep me ever mindful of my natural state,
                 but let me not forget my heavenly title,
                 or the grace that can deal with every sin.” (From Need of Grace)
 
            “I need to repent of my repentance;
            I need my tears to be washed;
            I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
                 No loom to weave my own righteousness;”
 
            Grant me never to lose sight of
                 the exceeding sinfulness of sin
                 the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
                 the exceeding glory of Christ,
                 the exceeding beauty of holiness,
                 the exceeding wonder of grace.” (From Continual Repentance)
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