It is still dark here in NYC. The sun has not yet emerged and aside from the whirling sirens of the occasional fire truck or police car, I am content in the stillness of early morning in Brooklyn. Did I mention the car alarms? 😉 I hesitated to post this Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision. Lately I’ve had nagging thoughts that Heavenly Springs was becoming a clearinghouse for recycled material. But the truth is: “Does anyone ever grow tiered of hearing the Puritans?” I think not.
The Puritans knew a thing or two about heart corruptions. Like the apostle Paul, they rightly perceived that in this unredeemed flesh “lies no good thing.” Though the devil and the world each have a hand in beguiling us, the real problem is not outside, it’s inside. Let us not be deceived. James said, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” The origin of every evil and temptation is the human heart. But the Puritans apprehended something else, too. The One with the power to save us from sin is also the One who keeps us from sin. The honesty of this Puritan prayer will stir the weakest soul to faith.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy. Psalms 130:1-2
A brand new day awaits. May the heart of this prayer be yours, just as it is mine.
“Compassionate Lord, Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge, ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know Thee as Thou art, love Thee supremely, serve Thee wholly, admire Thee fully. Through grace let my will respond to Thee, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Thy free love alone enables me to serve Thee. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Thy choicest gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, tend me this day; without Thy restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan’s secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps. Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.”
May God keep you strong today and by His grace, may we walk by the Spirit and not the flesh.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6