Two Resources to Enrich Your Prayer Life

Prayer is such a wonderful gift. We have the privilege of communicating with the God of the Universe, our Heavenly Father. Prayer changes us and changes circumstances in our lives, and the lives of those around us. We come to know God in a deeper way, and we feel closer to those we pray for. Serving brothers and sisters in Christ by praying for them, and with them, expresses our love for them as fellow believers in Christ. It’s an honor that we should cherish as we pray for those around us. Pouring our hearts out to the Lord for specific needs, we begin to see specific answers to those needs, according to God’s will. 

Our prayers cannot force God to do anything, but He uses them as His own instruments to bring about His will.
— R. C. Sproul
Two Resources to Enrich Your Prayer Life

I wanted to share some resources I have used in my own prayer time the last few years. These are, by no means, a definitive must in my prayer time, it’s just what I like to frequently use to prepare my heart before pouring out to Him the needs of others and myself, and I believe they help instill a heart of worship as I pray to Him. These resources have impacted my walk and prayer life greatly and wish I had found them sooner. 

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

This book is a selection of prayers and mediations in the Puritan tradition, with some of them written by Charles Spurgeon, or John Bunyan. Reading the prayers and meditations in this book has encouraged me in my prayer life. They had such a deep sense of the state of man, and the sin we can so easily entangle ourselves in. These prayers are filled with humility, piety, anguish over sin, and devotion, thankfulness, and adoration to the Lord. An excerpt from the front of the book, written by Arthur Bennett, reads, The book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying: for prayer is the communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication. The prayers should therefore be used as aspiration units, the several parts of which could become springboards for the individual’s own prayer subjects. 

That’s what this book has been for me, a springboard in my prayer life. I encourage you to find a copy for yourself, and may it be as precious to you as it has been to me. 

The Valley of Vision

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.

The Baptist Hymnal

I love reading hymns. We sing them in church, of course, and though I am not very musically inclined, if I know the hymn I will try to sing it. But other than singing the hymns, I like to read the verses of the hymn aloud. Any hymnal will do, this is just the one I happen to own. Hymns are praises to God, and it’s vital to our Christian faith that we praise and adore the Lord! The hymns are mixed with inspiration, instruction, exhortation, and the plan of salvation, directing our hearts and minds to the Word of God and the God of Scripture. Hymns have scripture references that are true to central doctrines of the Bible. Hymns implement praise. This specific hymnal has sections on the Glory of God, the Love of God, The People of God, and The Witness of the People of God. The first hymn starts with Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty and the last hymn starts with Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.  He is holy, and He is worthy of our love, adoration, and dedication. I pray that shines through as I use this hymnal to commune with the Lord in His presence. 

Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6:3 KJV, Majesty and Power Page 2, The Baptist Hymnal)

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee;
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who wert, and art, and ever more shalt be. 

Holy, holy, holy! Tho’ the darkness hide Thee,
Tho’ the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity. 

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

These are just two examples of resources I use in my own personal prayer life that have impacted the way I pray and the way I relate to God during prayer. They both bring a sense of awe of our wonderful Heavenly Father. I know prayer time can sometimes end up being all about us and our immediate needs, but these aids have helped me take the focus off myself and direct my prayers, praise, and worship to God Almighty!

Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry, while on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.
— The Baptist Hymnal, pages 308 “Pass Me Not”