From time to time we use The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers & Devotions for corporate worship. It was compiled and put together for the church to use these prayers from the puritans who lived in the 17 and 18oo’s. This one is titled, “Love”. Join me this morning for prayer:
Give me to love thee, to embrace thee,
though I once took lust and sin in my arms.
Thou didst love me before I loved thee,
an enemy, a sinner, a loathsome worm.
Thou didst own me when I disclaimed myself;
Thou dost love me as a son,
and weep over me as over Jerusalem.
Love brought thee from heaven to earth,
from earth to the cross,
from the cross to the grave.
Love caused thee to be weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon, crucified, and pierced.
Love led thee to bow thy head in death.
My salvation is the point where perfect created love
and the most perfect uncreated love meet together;
for thou dost welcome me,
not like Joseph and his brothers, loving and sorrowing, but loving and rejoicing.
This love is not intermittent, cold, changeable;
it does not cease or abate for all my enmity.
Holiness is a spark from thy love
kindled to a flame in my heart by thy Spirit,
and so it ever turns to the place, from which it comes.
Let me see thy love everywhere, not only in the cross, but in the fellowship of believers and in the world around me. When I feel the warmth of the sun may I praise thee who art the Sun of righteousness with healing power. When I feel the tender rain may I think of the gospel showers that water my soul.
When I walk by the river side may I praise thee
for that stream that makes the eternal city glad,
and washes white my robes
that I may have the right to the tree of life.
Thy infinite love is a mystery of mysteries,
and my eternal rest lies in the eternal enjoyment of it.