Friday, June 19, 2009


While reflecting on the lectionary gospel reading for this Sunday, Mark 4:35-41, I came across this wonderful prayer from a great little book called "The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers and Devotions":

Sovereign Commander of the Universe,
I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness.
My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude, and I cannot act faith at all.
My heavenly Pilot has disappeared, and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages;
I sink in a deep mire beneath storms and waves, in horror and distress unutterable.
Help me, O Lord, to throw myself absolutely and wholly on thee, for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless.
Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind, morning joy that comes after night heaviness;
Water my soul richly with diving blessings;
Grant that I may welcome thy humbling in private so that I might enjoy thee in public;
Give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.
Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he;
Yet thou hast made me a monument of mercy, a trophy of redeeming power;
In my distress let me not forget this.
All-wise God, Thy never-failing providence orders every event, sweetens every fear, reveals evil's presence lurking in seeming good, brings real good our of seeming evil, makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon, to show me what a short-sighted creature I am, and to teach me to live by faith upon thy blessed self.
Out of my sorrow and night give me that name Naphtali - "satisfied with favor" - help me to love thee as a child, and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.

[Bennett, Arthur G. The Valley of Vision A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2003, 184-185.]