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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Valley of Vision and my Desktop

Puritan tradition for 20-something blogging students (and anyone else)

My buddy Nick and I have been discussing ways to A.) Pray for longer periods of time, B.) Keep the morning devotions fresh, and C.) STAY AWAKE. I've been reading The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Not only do these guys know how to pray, they wrote their prayers down. Before I go any further, I'll give a sampling. Here is one that really spoke to me.

Oh Lord,

I hang on thee, I see, believe, live,
when thy will, not mine, is done:
I can plead nothing in myself
in regard to any worthiness and grace,
in regard of thy providence and promises,
but only thy good pleasure.
If thy mercy make me poor and vile, blessed be thou!
Prayers arising from my needs are preparations for
future mercies;
Help me to honour thee by believing before I feel,
for great is the sin if I make feelings a
cause of faith.

Show me what sins hide thee from me
and eclipse thy love;
Help me to humble myself for past evils,
to be resolved to walk with thee more care,
For if I do not walk holily before thee,
how can I be assured of my salvation?

It is the meek and humble who are shown
thy covenant,
know thy will, are pardoned and healed,
who are sanctified and quickened,
who evidence thy love.
Help me to pray in faith and so find thy will,
by leaning hard on thy rich free mercy,
by believing thou wilt give what thou hast
Strengthen me to pray with the conviction
that whatever I receive is thy gift,
so that I may pray until prayer be granted;
Teach me to believe that all degrees of mercy arise
from several degrees of prayer,
that when faith is begun it is imperfect and
must grow,
as chapped ground opens wider and wider
until rain comes.

So shall I wait thy will, pray for it to be done,
and by thy grace become fully obedient.



Reading these reminds me of the attitude that I must have when I approach my God in prayer. Absolute reverence. ( I still think its wise to keep saying sentence long prayers as we dash from the bus loop to the 9:30 lecture, or over a bowl of lucky charms.)

It is also cool how these guys all wrote their prayers out. Nick told me on Sunday night that his new thing for first thing in the morning is sitting at the keyboard and typing out what he prays. Very cool. I never fall asleep at the computer. There is nowhere to do it. Whereas I find it rather easy to fade and crash when I kneel on my floor...with my elbows on the foot of the bed...head in the douvet. At 5:30 or 6:00 AM there is not a more deadly combination.

Resolved: No blog stalking after 11:30 PM! My good friend of late, Lydia, convicted me of this by posting something like this:

here's the dilemma. without the pressure of work, all i do is loaf around. loafing is NOT resting. its loafing. reading blogs is loafing. spending time on msn is loafing. these don't make me feel more relaxed, they just make me feel like a lazy bum. loafing is loafing, and i'm becoming a loafer. i STILL go to bed tired and wake up even more tired. why? because i haven't been resting, i've been loafing!!

Jesus may have been able to heal people all day and then find time for midnight discipleship (John 3) and still get up before the crack of day to climb a mountain and pray. Apparently D.A.C. can do it too...stinking guy...

Needless to say, I don't possess this gift.

I think much can be said of the spirituality of a decent bed time, and generally, getting adequate rest. Nothing feels better than a rich and sweet quiet time. Not many things feel as slimy as: "Lord thank you for this day........zzzzz......zzzzzzzz....oh cwap its 8:30.....MOM...CAN YOU MAKE ME A SANDWICH WHILE I BRUSH MY TEETH?!?!?! Then running out the door: "Lord, help me to have a good day."

Resolved: Type out my morning prayers. This will make for quite a nifty prayer journal after awhile as well. This is something the staff at C4C have been telling me to do for like 2 years. It is just different coming from a peer. I don't know why. I am stubborn.

Thanks Nick,
Thanks Lydia,

For helping me to better Serve my King.

ps. the prayers in The Valley of Vision are not labeled. Therefore, I don't know who penned the one I mentioned. It may have been one of the great men pictured above.


Blogger Lydia said...

haha you use the word Wowzas too???!!!

haha i like this: "my good friend of late, Lydia...." hahaha!! amazing. i've hit a new level of fame, making it onto your blog as your good friend of late. wex.

no blog stalking after 11:30 is a very good resolution. i just might incorporate this into my life.

good thoughts joshua robinson. good thoughts.

10:50 AM  
Blogger I_am_Batman said...

Whoa dude! I just bought Valley of Vision ready by Max Maclean. It is super awesome. Read the prayer on Christlikeness!

3:38 PM  
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