The Valley of Vision – When you don’t know what or how to Pray

In times of either great stress or great joy, we sometimes find that our conscious mind cannot find or utter words to describe our need or our praise. Vocabulary and thoughts fail. Paul reminds us that in such straits we may call upon the Holy Spirit and He will pray on our behalf. [Romans 8:26]

On other occasions of worship, sharing, confession, trouble, devotion or needs, AGM recommends you consider adding The Valley of Vision to your collection, a gift from the heart of previous generations.

The 22nd chapter of Isaiah inspired the title; “The burden of the Valley of Vision…” The editor and compiler of the book, Arthur Bennett,  notes:

The strength of Puritan character and life lay in prayer and meditation. In this practice the spirit of prayer was regarded as of first importance. Yet prayer is also vocal and may… be written. This book has been prepared not to “supply” prayers but to prompt and encourage the Christian as he treads the path on which others have gone before.

These are the opening lines from one of my favorite entries, The Great Discovery, found on page 62 in the section dealing with Redemption and Reconciliation.

GLORIOUS GOD,

I bless thee that I know thee,

I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its creator, was partaker of they providences, but knew not the provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me, understood many things, but had no knowledge of they ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only.

O happy day, when in they love’s sovereignty thou didst look on me, and call me by grace.

10 Prayer Sections found in “The Valley of Vision”

Complied in 1975 from a variety of Puritan sources, published by The Banner of Truth Trust, this collection of  192 single-page prayers is conveniently organized into ten sections.

  1. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  2. Redemption and Reconciliation
  3. Penitence and Deprecation
  4. Needs and Devotions
  5. Holy Aspirations
  6. Approach to God
  7. Gifts of Grace
  8. Service and Ministry
  9. Valediction
  10. A Week’s Shared Prayers

The foundational message of AGM and Christian Horse Training is “Faith over Fear.” Here are excerpts from entry number 160, appropriately entitled Faith.

Faith

MY GOD,

I bless thee that thou has given me the eye of faith,

For faith is the grace of union, by which I spell out my entitlement to thee:

Faith casts my anchor upwards where I trust in thee and engage thee to be my Lord.

Thy bountiful goodness has helped me believe, but my faith is weak and wavering, its light dim, its steps tottering, its increase slow, its backslidings frequent;

It should scale the heavens but lies grovelling in the dust.

Lord, fan this divine spark into glowing flame.

Lord, awake faith to put forth its strength until all heaven fills my soul.

 A Prayer Resource for Teachers, Leaders, Ministers, and Parents

This book isn’t meant to be read from cover to cover. It is intended to fill in the blanks when you find nothing that suits your need, or to expand your spirit or the content and depth of messages shared with others. Do you lead a Bible study group? Write a Christian blog? Homeschool? Perhaps you simply need to jump start your own prayer life.

Book reviews and recommendations will be added to this site as time and opportunity permits. Navigation will be more direct as the body of reviews expands. In the meantime, each book will have its own post. Here is a convenient link to this title on Amazon.  [We will repair the image below on Monday. It decided to go rogue when this post was published.]

If you already have The Valley of Vision on your bookshelf, which entry is your favorite?

 Snippets from Amazon reviewers:

“The first prayer summarizes the purpose of this book with the following words, “Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights…” The main theme of the book is to show Christians that we are first brought to the valley in order that we may see above the mountaintops.”

“I can read about three or four prayers before being overwhelmed by the depth and riches of these prayers. They show the depth of knowledge and wisdom of their writers, but even more they show the writers’ deep abhorrence of their sin and devotion to God. They also show keen insight into the private sins of our hearts.”

“I bought this book initially, from my church book shop. It’s a wonderful little book, full of prayers from a by-gone age but still useful today; because God doesn’t change. The language and expressions of humility and thankfulness in these prayers guides me through “dry” times of prayer and leads me into a deeper expression of speaking to God.”

“I have owned this little book for five years and it has become a true companion. It contains inspiring prayers which are very clearly based in scripture – in fact I have made a habit of writing scripture references in the margins of the prayers and using the prayers as helps for devotions and scripturally based contemplations. I have marked up my first copy so much that I’ve purchased a new copy just to ensure that I always have one in decent shape.”

 

Comments

  1. suzanne o'meara:

    i feel so terrible every time i realise i do not know enough spiritually for a horses needs ; & as well finding so much lack & seeing their anguish….every horse needs personal guardian …..

    • Lynn Lynn:

      Suzanne, like every other challenge in life we can only do what we can and pray for what we cannot. One day God will repair all that our sin caused in this world.
      Blessings,
      Lynn

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