The Love of Jesus (A Prayer)


A good prayer for this Easter morning from that excellent book, The Valley of Vision.

O FATHER OF JESUS,

Help me to approach thee with deepest
reverence,
not with presumption,
not with servile fear, but with holy boldness.
Thou art beyond the grasp of my understanding,
but not beyond that of my love.
Thou knowest that I love thee supremely,
for thou art supremely adorable, good, perfect.

My heart melts at the love of Jesus,
my brother, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,
married to me, dead for me, risen for me;
He is mine and I am his,
given to me as well as for me;
I am never so much mine as when I am his,
or so much lost to myself until lost in him;
then I find my true manhood.
But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;
Let his love warm me,
lighten my burden,
be my heaven;
May it be more revealed to me in all its influences
that my love to him may be more fervent
and glowing;
Let the mighty tide of his everlasting love
cover the rocks of my sin and care;
Then let my spirit float above those things
which had else wrecked my life.

Make me fruitful by living to that love,
my character becoming more beautiful every day.
If traces of Christ’s love-artistry be upon me,
may he work on with his divine brush
until the complete image be obtained
and I be made a perfect copy of him,
my Master.

O Lord Jesus, come to me,
O Divine Spirit, rest upon me,
O Holy Father, look on me in mercy
for the sake of the well-beloved.

“The Love of Jesus” in The Valley of Vision, ed. Arthur Bennett (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1975) 44-45.

Blessings


This morning I thought I would share another prayer from that great book edited by Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision (Banner of Truth Trust, 1973).

THOU GREAT THREE-ONE,

Author of all blessings I enjoy,
of all I hope for,
Thou hast taught me
that neither the experience of present evils,
nor the remembrances of former sins,
nor the remonstrances of friends,
will or can affect a sinner’s heart,
except thou vouchsafe to reveal thy grace
and quicken the dead in sin
by the effectual working of thy Spirit’s power.
Thou hast shown me
that the sensible effusions of divine love
in the soul are superior to and distinct from
bodily health,
and that oft-times spiritual comforts are
at their highest when physical well-being is
at its lowest.
Thou hast given me the ordinance of song
as a means of grace;
Fit me to bear my part in that music ever new,
which elect angels and saints made perfect
now sing before thy throne and before the Lamb.
I bless thee for tempering every distress with joy;
too much of the former might weigh me down,
too much of the latter might puff me up;
Thou art wise to give me a taste of both.
I love thee
for giving me clusters of grapes
in the wilderness,
and drops of heavenly wine
that set me longing to have my fill.
Apart from thee I quickly die,
bereft of thee I starve,
far from thee I thirst and droop;
But thou art all I need.
Let me continually grasp the promise,
‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’

Too loud to hear


This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV).

Anna called me at work today from the C-BAT she has been at. That was a great thing. I have missed her very much. It is hard when she is gone that that. It would be different if she were at a sleepover with a friend or away at camp or something like that. But being in a C-BAT means that she is hurting and needs more intense therapeutic care than a therapy season or two.

So when she called I was really excited. I had lots of questions for her and things I wanted to tell her. However, the time she was calling was when everyone else was up and around and having fun. It was loud for her and she couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying. She got very frustrated and said that she would call me back later.

As I sit hear thinking about that, it struck me that sometimes we have a similar problem with talking to God. We call. We know He is there. We know He is listening, and know He is talking back to us. But because of all the noise going on around us (literary or figuratively, we can’t concentrate, we can’t quite hear what He is saying. Maybe we wonder if He is even listening at all.

What kinds of things make up that noise? Sometimes it is literally be business we are surrounded with. Other times it may be our anxiety or doubt or pain. Sometimes it is the noise of guilt or shame over things we have done or not done. Sometimes it comes from the frustration of waiting.

Whatever it might be, we need to recognize the static of sin, the noise of anxiety, and the clamor of life when it is impeding our communication with God. Sometimes God removes it Himself. Other times, He wants us to move to quieter places and spaces so that we can hear Him. I have been learning that this is one of the great benefits of building a discipline of solitude. Solitude with God, is not running away from your problems or shirking your responsibilities. Nor is it about shutting people out. It is about intentionally working to getting into a place where things are quiet enough that we can be still and give Him our attention.

 

A New Year’s Day Prayer


Our gracious Father,

As we come to the end of another year
we thank You for the blessings You gave:
for family and friends,
the fellowship with our spiritual family,
the joys of worship,
the satisfaction of work,
answers to prayers,
times to rest and recreate.

We thank You for Your mercies,
for healings,
for being with us in difficulties,
for protecting us from the Enemy.
When we went through the fire,
we were not burned.
When we went through the water,
we were not drowned or swept away.
When we found ourselves in dark places,
You were there.
Even when we found ourselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death
You were there with us.
We are so grateful for Your compassion,
forgiveness,
for Your steady presence,
loving comfort,
and Your gentle care.

We thank You for Your promises as this new year dawns:
To never leave us, never forsake us,
that Your grace will never run dry,
that You will always hear our prayers,
that there is nothing that You will not do,
nothing You will not provide,
no place You will not go, no sin,
no power, no force You will not defeat in order to bring us Home.
As we had Your love this year,
we will have it in the year to come.
Nothing we did last year changed that,
and nothing we do next year will change it either.

We are humbled by Your grace,
surprised by Your meekness,
rejoice in Your love,
and are filled with joy knowing Christ is ours and we are His.

Year’s End (a prayer)


This is a prayer from Author Bennett’s classic, The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers. There is a beauty, depth, and honesty in them that draws me to them again and again. If you don’t already have a copy in your library, you owe it to yourself to get one. “Year’s End” is a great prayer for New Year’s Eve.

Enjoy, and happy New Year!

 

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.

About those two lessons….


If you spend much time around my blog at all you will notice some recurring themes. One of those themes is that I have been learning that life is about learning two lessons: 1. You are not enough. 2. Jesus is enough, and in Him you will always have enough.

I am learning that again now. We recently saw some water coming up from behind our dishwasher, but it did not look like it was coming from it. Not only that, but there was no discernible water valve to turn off behind around or behind the dishwasher. Then the fuse controlling the power in the girls’ bedrooms tripped. We had one of our neighbors who is a general contractor come over and help us assess things and get the water turned off. The good news was he was able to turn off the water and found the leak. The bad news is that the leak was coming from the bend of a copper pipe that fed the dishwasher from the basement. Apparently it has been slowly leaking for a long time. The subfloor was rotten, the wires were soaked (hence the reason the power was tripped), the cabinets had black mold on them near the floor and would need totaled replaced, along with the soft wood floor (original to the house from 1780).

What a way to get into your anniversary huh? Of course we are in touch with the insurance company, but this is some scary expensive stuff happening. And it quickly became very clear that I am not enough to handle this. If Jesus does not show up with the means to fix this, I don’t see any other way out. Of course, experience tells me that is just the kind of situation Jesus likes to handle.

In the meantime we are praying that God would provide to make these needed repairs. We hope you would pray for us too.

Grace,

Dan