While they often get a bad rap, the Puritans sure knew how to pray. For several years now, the Puritans have taken me deeper in prayer as I’ve found a friend in the Puritan prayer book, The Valley of Vision. Heart-yearnings that I can’t put into words or that I never knew existed rise up when I pray and ponder the prayers in this book.
While our culture may encourage us to celebrate the passing of an old year and the movement into the new with all kinds of revelry and even debauchery, the Puritans call us to see the passing of time and the movement from one year to another within the context of a much bigger and better story than our own. And so, on this New Year’s Eve, I’m sharing this “Year’s End” prayer from The Valley of Vision.
O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.