Have you ever sat down to your devotional time with the Lord and wondered what to pray, or just started praying the same things, like, “Dear God, thank you for today, thank you for my family…” You mean what you pray, but sometimes, your prayer time has become such a routine that you zone out, don’t pay attention, and pray the same thing twice or even three times.
The Valley of Vision is a book of puritan prayers that has become an amazing prompt for me. There are sections labeled things like “Needs and Devotions,” “Holy Aspirations,” and “Service and Ministry.” These sections contain several short two-page devotions that are written in a poetic meter (even if they don’t rhyme), with such poignant phrases that, even though I’m reading the prayer, I end up praying it! I mean what these puritan guys are saying!
The Valley of Vision has often been a reason for me to cry or rejoice. “Though my sins rise to heaven, Thy merits soar above them…” (p. 150). What a thought! What a prayer! “May I see all things in a divine light so that they may inform my judgment and sanctify my heart!” (p. 275). I wish I could pray things like this on my own! But what a blessing it is to have these faithful men guide me in this way.
It is definitely not a replacement for my time reading the Bible, but I have found that starting my time in one of these prayers is a good way to get into the right frame of mind. It’s like having a really old British man pray over you a prayer informed by his years of meditation on Jesus. Remember, these guys didn’t have phones, the internet, cars, television or really any modern distraction at all. They weren’t perfect by any means, but ‘eating the crumbs that fall from their table’ has been a delicious way to start my time meeting the Lord in the mornings. I hope you enjoy it too.
Here is a link to a rotating post from The Valley of Vision: https://banneroftruth.org/us/devotional/covenant/
It is also available from online bookstores in both paperback and leather-bound versions.