2013 will forever be etched into the fabric of my memory as the year in which I stumbled upon the Valley of Vision. Perhaps you have never heard of this book, so allow me to introduce it to you.
The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers bound together in one book. The Banner of Truth published it in 1975 and eventually it was republished several times. The book contains 'themed' prayers written out by a variety of Puritans such as Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, Charles Spurgeon, Henry Law, among many others. The themes include Redemption and Reconciliation, Needs, Approaching God, and many others. You may ask the question 'why would I want a book filled with written-out prayers from hundreds of years ago?' I have three reasons:
1. They Awaken My Dull Heart
The Valley of Vision has been used by God to raise my affections in prayer when I often feel my heart is dull. I cannot begin to count how many times I have stumbled into my office at home in the early hours of the morning, gotten down on my knees to pray and have felt as though my heart was indifferent towards God. It has been in those very moments that The Valley of Vision was used by the Spirit of God to raise my affections and inject passion into my heart for God as I pray through that book.
2. They Cultivate Creativity In My Prayer Life
I don't want a boring prayer life. I just don't. I want a prayer life that is real and moving. 'What do you mean by boring?' Here is what I mean: If someone were to be a fly-on-the-wall in my office at 6:00a on Tuesday morning and heard me pray, I don't want them walking away uninspired to pray themselves. I once read that an unbelieving man who was prayed for by Charles Spurgeon one night walked away telling his friends 'That man prays as if the Living God hears him!' I want that. The Valley of Vision moves me to be creative in my prayers. Praying the Bible in ways that are fresh and powerful. It has been an immense help in this area.
3. They Challenge Me To Devote Myself To Prayer
The prayers recorded in this book spur me on to faithfulness in my prayer life. As I read the prayers of the Puritans of old I am humbled because I realize how devoted those men were to prayer. I want to be like that. With every page you turn you cannot help but see the years of experience these men have at dining with God on their knees. I pray that God would continue to teach me and push me to pray as I flip through the pages of this priceless book.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Valley of Vision
Because I love the Valley of Vision so much, I want to give away a copy to one person on January 4th. To enter, fill out this form:
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.