Elder's Prayer - December 16, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
I received this book, the Valley of Vision 8 years ago as a gift. It was a great gift that always sits on my desk within arm’s reach. Other than scripture, I have not used any book as frequently as this one over the last 8 years. It is filled with theologically sound and Christ-centered words of truth in the form of puritan prayers and devotions. It is simply an excellent resource for better understanding both God and man.
Interestingly, I had a person approach me 6-8 weeks ago to tell me their experience with Valley of Vision. This person candidly told me that they were not a fan when anyone used the Valley of Vision prayer book in service. I was told that they kind of checked out mentally and were not engaged whenever we read from Valley of Vision during a service.
All that changed for this person about 4 months ago when they purchased a copy of Valley of Vision as a tool to use in her personal devotional times. After spending time on her own, reading, pondering and praying over these prayers, they have come alive for her. She loves to engage in the spiritual exercise these prayers lay out.
I share this truthful anecdote this morning for two reasons. First, I’m going to pray through one of the prayers in just a moment – so, if you need to, prepare yourself. Second, because there is still time to order this book as a Christmas gift for yourself or someone here who might not yet appreciate puritan prayers. Let me be clear, I don’t get a commission or represent the publisher, but I’m confident you will be richly blessed like I have been and this other person I referred to if you make reading Valley of Vision part of your devotional time with the Lord.
Father God, you are the SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
What shall we offer you for the gift of gifts,
Christ Jesus your own dear Son, begotten, not created,
our Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying is incomprehensible,
his infinite love beyond the heart’s grasp.
Herein is the wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise us above,
was born like us that we might become like him.
Herein is love;
when we cannot rise to him he draws near us on
wings of grace,
to raise us to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
you united us in enduring unity,
the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when we were undone, with no will to return to you,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
Christ came, God-incarnate, to save us to the uttermost,
as man to die our death,
to shed satisfying blood on our behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for us.
O God, take us in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge our minds;
let us hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
Our conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
Our eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place us with ox, donkey, camel, goat,
to look with them upon our Redeemer’s face,
and in him account ourselves delivered from sin;
let us with Simeon clasp the new-born child to our hearts,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is ours and we are his.
In him thou hast given us so much
that heaven can give no more.
Thanks be to God for the inexpressible gift of your Son.
Make our hearts grateful as we rehearse the stunning truth of this season.