adapted from two prayers found in “The Valley of Vision“
I have acted as if I hated thee
Contrived to tempt thee to the uttermost
To wear out thy patience
I have often loved darkness,
observed lying vanities,
forsaken thy given mercies,
trampled underfoot thy beloved Son – by despising his death by fearing its efficacy for my salvation,
mocked thy providences,
flattered thee with my lips,
broken thy covenant.
Lead me to repentance, and save me from despair
Cast me not into destruction,
Drive me not from thy presence,
But wound my heart that it may be healed;
Break it that thine own hand may make it whole.
And whatever cross I am required to bear,
Let me see him carrying a heavier.
A good friend of mine, Mason King, blessed me with the book The Valley of Vision: a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions (ugly cover, amazing book), and I love coming back to their words of deep affection and fervor for the Lord. Below is a selection from a recent reading that I hope encourages you.
Man’s Great End
Lord of all being,
there is one thing that deserves my greatest care,
that calls forth my ardent desires,
That is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made-
to glorify thee who hast given me being,
and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;
Verily, life is not worth having
if it be not improved for this noble purpose.
Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!
Most men seem to live for themselves,
without much or any regard for thy glory,
or for the good of others;
They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue
the riches, honours, pleasures of this life,
as if they supposed that wealth, greatness, merriment,
could make their immortal souls happy;
But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!
And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them,
for all our happiness consists in loving thee,
and being holy as thou are holy.
O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities,
the sensuality and folly of the present world!
It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty nothingness;
Time is a moment, a vapour,
and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles,
fleeting blasts of wind,
from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;
Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee,
and to reject as delusion a great name here or hereafter, [emphasis added]
together with all sinful pleasures or profits.
Help me to know continually
that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfilling of thy purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for the Son of thy love.