The Valley of Vision: “Grace in Trials”

All of us who are Christians (and honest) would admit that the words penned by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans describe our daily lives to a “T”:

15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25)

The remaining sin in our lives is very real and a constant reminder of our need for the Lord Jesus Christ to work His sanctifying work in our daily lives. The following Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision is a perfect description of a justified sinner’s daily prayer to the Father of Mercies to experience his grace anew:

FATHER OF MERCIES,

Hear me for Jesus’ sake.
I am sinful even in my closest walk
with thee; it is of thy mercy I died not long ago;

Thy grace has given me faith in the cross
by which thou hast reconciled thyself to me
and me to thee,
drawing me by thy great love,
reckoning me as innocent in Christ though
guilty in myself.

Giver of all graces,
I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me,
for it is hard to practice what I believe.

Strengthen me against temptations.
My heart is an unexhausted fountain of sin,
a river of corruption since childhood days,
flowing on in every pattern of behaviour;

Thou hast disarmed me of the means
in which I trusted,
and I have no strength but in thee.
Thou alone canst hold back my evil ways,
but without thy grace to sustain me I fall.

Satan’s darts quickly inflame me,
and the shield that should quench them
easily drops from my hand:
Empower me against his wiles and assaults.

Keep me sensible of my weakness,
and of my dependence upon thy strength.
Let every trial teach me more of thy peace,
more of thy love.

Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase thy graces,
and I cannot preserve or improve them
unless he works continually in me.
May he confirm my trust in thy promised help,
and let me walk humbly in dependence upon thee,
for Jesus ’sake.

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1 Comment

  1. February 27, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    So refreshing! I just wrote a post reflecting on the same exact prayer.. Thank you for sharing..

    Blessings


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