Journeys & Writings of Paul

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The valley

I first heard the prayer titled The Valley of Vision five years ago. It  resonates with me very strongly. Shortly after hearing it, I bought the book where the prayer originates from, and highly recommend it. The title of the book is The Valley of vision: a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. You can find the book on Amazon, or you can borrow it from me if you would like to peruse its pages free of charge. I am not usually a proponent of written prayers because I feel that they can stifle to very spirit and intention behind prayer; I find prayer to be very personal and flowing from within, but in this particular case I make an exception.

I feel that this prayer sums up one aspect of how I approach my own personal journey with God. I memorized it several years ago, and find myself reciting pieces of it in times of inner turmoil. I find that my attitude and outlook on life have the greatest affect on my experiences in life. I can truly say that the best times in my life have been the worst times; times of suffering in one form or another that I would never voluntarily return to, but am nonetheless grateful to have experienced. Now, without further ado:

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,

    where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;    hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. 
Let me learn by paradox 
    that the way down is the way up, 
    that to be low is to be high, 
    that the broken heart is the healed heart, 
    that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, 
    that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, 
    that to have nothing is to possess all, 
    that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, 
    that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. 
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
    and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness, 
                   thy life in my death, 
                   thy joy in my sorrow, 
                   thy grace in my sin, 
                   thy riches in my poverty,
                   thy glory in my valley.

*I also highly recommend the prayer titled "The Deeps". Seriously, come to me and ask to borrow this book sometime.

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