A Kid Named Paul and The Valley of Vision

valleyofvisionIn my humble estimation, apart from studying the Bible itself, studying the Puritans is one of the most profitable religious exercises a believer can undertake. I say this with great bias, because it is the Puritans who have so ministered to my own soul.  I scarcely have a sound theological thought that cannot be traced back, in some way, to the Puritans.

In God’s providence, what made the Puritans so special?  And why should we care about them today? The reason is simple. They had a two-fold ideology about them, 1) They knew the content of their Bibles, and consequently wrote deeply and passionately about it, and 2) They put their knowledge about Christ into action. Compared to the 21st century church, the Puritans were intellectual and spiritual giants. They delighted in, and longed for, a holy life that could only be found in union and communion with the person and work of Jesus Christ.  This yearning and desire for a pure spiritual experience was so overwhelming that they were religiously zealous for the Kingdom of God, for purity of doctrine, for the purity of the church, and purity of their own lives.  And nothing held them back from this God-centered, Christ-exalting hunger for God.

The reason I am writing about the Puritans this morning is because I have a brother who is currently serving as a pastor in Texas.  In their youth group they have a young man named Paul who is having surgery this morning to receive an artificial heart until the doctors can find a heart transplant.  My mind immediately rushed to The Valley of Vision: A Collections of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Nearly every day I read this book.  It goes with me everywhere I go.  I am rarely without this book at my side.  I pray that it will minister to you as much as it has me.

On behalf of Paul and his family, I would like you to pray with me the prayer entitled: Blessing.

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 [arguments] of friends,

will or can affect a sinner’s heart,

except though vouchsafe [promises] 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 [pouring out] 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 has 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 are 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.”  Amen.

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One Response to “A Kid Named Paul and The Valley of Vision”

  1. Dennis Wilkening Says:

    Thanks Kevin. That is an amazing prayer!

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