“Need of Grace”

Here’s a wonderful excerpt from a prayer in The Valley of Vision, “Need of Grace.”  The weaving together of the dreadfulness of sin mingled with the believer’s longing for grace makes for a biblically rich aspiration and meditation.

Thou makest me possess the sins of my youth,
and the dreadful sin of my nature,
so that I feel all sin,
I cannot think or act but every motion is sin.

Return again with showers of converting grace
to a poor gospel-abusing sinner.
Help my soul to breathe after holiness,
after a constant devotedness to thee,
after growth in grace more abundantly every day.

O that all my distresses and apprehensions
might prove but Christ’s school
to make me fit for greater service
by teaching me the great lesson of humility.

(The entire prayer can be found in Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions [The Banner of Truth Trust: Carlise, PA, 2005], 99).

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