How the Puritans helped my prayer life 🙏
Every Christian knows that prayer is an important & significant spiritual discipline. Yet I personally struggle with maintaining this as a regular habit, and find myself either prayer inadequately, or not at all. It just seems to be so difficult!
Recently a friend of mine recommended me to look up The Valley of Vision. It is a collection of devotions & prayer written by the Puritans (it would appear that there are multiple authors) and has been highly praised & recommended by many theological heavyweights. While I admit that I only have just recently started reading them, the very few prayers that I’ve read are phenomenal.
One of them that I’ve really enjoyed is a prayer on Worship. For copyright reasons (they are copyrighted to the Banner of Truth), I cannot reproduce the text, but you can read it here: https://banneroftruth.org/us/devotional/worship/.
As I was reading this I noticed that the cadence made it suitable for reading aloud, which got me wondering how this could be used in a corporate or family worship setting. My first exposure with the Puritans was through Thomas Goodwin’s The Heart of Christ, and it really gave me a newfound respect for their theologically rich yet pastoral content. These prayers are no exception. Rereading this prayer in particular helped me see how closely tied it was to Scripture, and yes, I did read it as a prayer, but it also helped me think and give me some thoughts to consider how I ought to pray, and to treat prayer in the future!
If you’ve never read The Valley of Vision and want to try & improve your prayer habits, I highly recommend this. You don’t have to purchase the book (although I’m sure the Banner of Truth would greatly appreciate it!), they have plenty of free devotions available on their website. I wasn’t sponsored by them or anything, I just genuinely come from a place where I struggled (and am still struggling) with prayer, and hopefully this can help you the same way it helped me :)