The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, continues to be a devotional treasure that I turn to over and over again. This afternoon, as I was paging through it, my eyes zeroed in on a phrase I had underlined the first time I had read that particular prayer. The prayer entitled “Weaknesses” is an admission of great weakness, blindness, and need for the Spirit’s continual strength and sanctifying work as we await the fullness of redemption when Jesus returns. O, how we need the Spirit of God to reveal the “nests of sin” that remain hidden in our hearts!
O Spirit of God,
Help my infirmities;
When I am pressed down with a load of sorrow,
perplexed and knowing not what to do,
slandered and persecuted,
made to feel the weight of the cross,
help me, I pray thee.
If thou seest in me
any wrong thing encouraged,
any evil desire cherished,
any delight that is not thy delight,
any habit that grieves thee,
any nest of sin in my heart,
then grant me the kiss of thy forgiveness,
and teach my feet to walk the way of
Deliver me from carking [distressful] care,
and make me a happy, holy person;
Help me to walk the separated life with
firm and brave step,
and to wrestle successfully against weakness;
Teach me to laud, adore, and magnify thee,
with the music of heaven,
And make me a perfume of praiseful gratitude to thee.
I do not crouch at thy feet as a slave before a tyrant,
but exult before thee as a son with a father.
Give me power to live as thy child in all my actions,
and to exercise sonship by conquering self.
Preserve me from the intoxication that comes
Sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes
not from thee.
Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom,
not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.
I request only to see the face of him I love,
to be content with bread to eat,
with raiment to put on,
if I can be brought to thy house in peace.