Prayer Series: Christlikeness

One thing I know for sure that we can all never graduate from is growing in Christlikeness. That is why I love this prayer of how to grow in specific ways in Christlikeness.

“Dear Father, dawn returns, but without your light within no outward light can profit,

Give me the saving lamp of your Spirit that I may see you, the God of my salvation, the delight of my soul, rejoicing over me in love.

I commend my heart to your watchful care, for I know its treachery and power.

Guard my heart’s every portal from the wily enemy, give me quick discernment of his deadly arts, help me to recognize his bold disguise as an angel of light, and bid him gone.

May my words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love!

May loiterers be quickened to greater diligence by my example.

May worldly people be won to delight in acquaintance with you.

I commend my heart to your watchful care, for I know its treachery and power.

May my words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love!

May worldly people be won to delight in acquaintance with you.

Help me to walk as Jesus walked, my only Savior and perfect model, his mind my inward guest, his meekness my covering.

Cause me to be a mirror of your grace, to show others the joy of your service.

May my lips be well tuned cymbals sounding your praise.

Teach me the happy art of attending to things worldly, with a mind on things eternal.

Send me to have compassion on the ignorant and the miserable.

Help me to walk as Jesus walked, my only Savior and perfect model, his mind my inward guest, his meekness my covering.

Let my delight be the gentle ranks of the meek.

Let me always esteem others better than myself, and find true humility an inheritance to two worlds.” (Lifted from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision)

I’ve heard it to be said that no one goes through this pandemic “unscathed.” I hope that with these sorts of prayers, by His grace, we are able to put the scathing to good use! 🙂

Prayer Series: Coming Up Short

(5 min. read)

Everyone has shortcomings. Hardly anyone would admit they don’t have shortcomings, and if we see one not admitting to any, then that there would be his/her shortcoming. If we honestly can’t see any, we just simply have to ask the people closest to us proximally and relationally: “Do I have any shortcoming?”. And if they will be honest with their answers, we’ll discover at least one, for our good, hurtful to accept it may be.

Here are prayers from The Valley of Vision, my favorite prayer book and prayer coach next to the Psalms. In reading and praying them, may we have a heart that receives and repents, and along the way, find freedom in the grace and mercy of the Lord in light of our shortcomings. 🙂

O living God, I bless you that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it, that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me from you.

I praise you that it is your deep and dear mercy to threaten punishment so that I may return, pray, and live.

I fall short of your glory everyday by spending hours unprofitably, by thinking that the things I do are good, when they are not done to your end, nor spring from the rules of your Word.

My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged, or to look on my good and be puffed up.

The best thing I love about occasionally praying using The Valley of Vision is that it trains me to pray in ways I never would do and in words I never would say on my own! In my sinful nature, I normally would not debase myself to admit I’m wrong. But I’m wrong more than once in any given day and I’m thankful for the opportunity to see and acknowledge this brutal truth in these Scriptural prayers by the Puritans.

By and large, people usually balk at the thought of being corrected. But the Word of God is a mirror, and when we look at it, we see ourselves for who we truly are, and thankfully, who we are to be too in Christ, by the grace of God.

With my wrongs, I really do get discouraged at times, and with my rights, I do get puffed up! Even in times I do something good, if I look inside my heart, they can still turn out to be with motives not really aligned with God’s Word. And that makes them nevertheless wrong.

But Scripture teaches me that your active will reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf, this quiets my soul, and makes me love you.

Keep me always in the understanding that believers mourn for sin than other men, for when they see how great is your wrath against sin, and how Christ’s death alone pacifies that wrath, that makes them mourn the more.

Although we are on this earth, in the already-but-not-yet state, it is indeed not all briars and barrenness, I do indeed have bread from heaven and streams from the rock. I have light by day and fire by night.

Even in this pandemic, we have the delight of food and drink, warmth and comfort of home, God’s presence, and daily mercies by way of continuous relationship! That in itself more than suffices!

I am sometimes discouraged by the way, but though winding and trying it is safe and short.

Death dismays me, but my great high priest stands in its waters, and will open me a passage, and beyond is a better country.

While I live let my life be exemplary, when I die may my end be peace.

More than anything, a lifestyle of prayer characterizes a believer’s apparent need for the Lord. As Bishop Manny Carlos of Every Nation Philippines taught us regarding the benefits of a life of prayer: Self-reliance is at the core of man’s determination, to live on his own terms and in rebellion to God; however, conversion and Lordship lays an axe at the root of that tree of self-reliance left in us.

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1: 4-9

Morning Dedication

One of my favorite prayer books is the considerably archaic and difficult to read Valley of Vision.

Granted, its that, but the thing I like about it the most is that it contains prayers that I couldn’t even think of.

Its easy to pray, its pouring out my heart to God. But my heart is also considerably deceptive, it doesn’t think to pray of what the collective prayers if some Puritans gathered thought of, and written, to pray. Its almost like poetic prayers.

After all, who says/does/thinks these to pray?

Today, I read and prayed the Morning Dedication.

“As I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to your care, incline my heart to your ways, mold me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay..”

I sincerely need prayers like these: “May my lips be a well tuned harp to the sound of your praise.” Surely the Lord knows that in a homeschooling mom’s day, or any mom’s day for that matter, many events would push us to not be a blessing to our husband and kids!

“May my lips be a well tuned harp to the sound of your praise..”

Seemingly insignificant details in everyday life or the daily grind can be viewed with the lens of the gospel and eternity.

Random beach trip last week

“May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of our Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.”

And finally, most sobering in the time of sickness and an all around season of pandemic:

“May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.”