Consecration and Worship: Valley of Vision Prayer

Sometimes I have trouble praying as I ought – but often I turn to the Valley of Vision for help in getting my engine started. One of Christianity’s greatest books from the past 2,000 years, VoV would be my second book choice if stranded on a desert island, right after the Bible, and right before The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock. Oh, those Puritans.

Valley of Vision

Take a moment and pray this prayer with me and with the millions of saints who have prayed it before us. A prayer from a heart full of desire to love and worship God, a prayer of lament over sin.

My God, I feel it is heaven to please Thee, and to be what Thou wouldst have me be. O that I were holy as Thou art holy, pure as Christ is pure, perfect as Thy Spirit is perfect! These, I feel, are the best commands in Thy Book, and shall I break them? must I break them? am I under such a necessity as long as I live here?

Woe, woe is me that I am a sinner, that I grieve this blessed God, who is infinite in goodness and grace! O if He would punish me for my sins, it would not [wound] my heart so deep to offend Him; But though I sin continually, He continually repeats His kindness to me.

At times I feel I could bear any suffering, but how can I dishonour this glorious God? What shall I do to glorify and worship this best of beings? O that I could consecrate my soul and body to His service, without restraint, for ever! O that I could give myself up to Him, so as never more to attempt to be my own! or have any will or affections that are not perfectly conformed to His will and His love! But, alas, I cannot live and not sin.

O may angels glorify Him incessantly, and, if possible, prostrate themselves lower before the blessed King of heaven! I long to bear a part with them in ceaseless praise; but when I have done all I can to eternity I shall not be able to offer more than a small fraction of the homage that the glorious God deserves. Give me a heart full of divine, heavenly love. [1]

Thanks for praying with me,

-Justin

[1] The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2001), 128.

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Our Great Hope: to Live in New Jerusalem Forever

This world has been called a “veil of tears” by Christian song-writers, and they have spoken well. This world is a sorrowful realm of broken dreams, idolatry, and war. The beauty and goodness we see in the world and among humanity is definitely in spite of the reign of sin among humankind. God’s grace actively restrains the outbreaking of sin and destruction in our world, and He does so in pity and love.

I pray that you would be drawn nearer to Him, our Creator, through my blog. I am writing in order to entice you with the love and grace of Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – the One who became man to die in the place of sinners – who rose from the dead 3 days later – and who is going to return to earth to judge the living and the dead. He calls you right now to turn from your sin and to trust Him, that He is able to forgive you and raise you to life again on the final day. Sound good?

The unspeakable joy, and the unspeakable terror which will be revealed on the Day of Judgment:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things,and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8 NASB)

As the excellent Dr. Michael Horton said it:

[New Jerusalem] is descending from heaven (Rev 21:2) as those who are spiritually dead are raised and receive a new birth from above that makes them citizens of the new age (Jn 3:3-6; Eph 2:1-10). The writer to the Hebrews reminds us in chapter 12 that the whole system of world powers and kingdoms will be shaken when Christ returns. At the same time, the kingdom of Christ is a present reality: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:27-28).[1]

Sweet.

Are you looking forward to that Day? I am.

Grace to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ,

-Justin

[1] Michael Horton, The Christian Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 955-6.