20
Mar
09

I love the Puritans

I love the Puritans!

Thanks be to God for sanctifying some parts of the Internet.
Due to God’s mercy and faithful laborers we now have access to some of the richest theological works in the world right at our fingertips through the Internet.
Some of our richest resources come to us through the practical, theological and passionate writings of the Puritans. These writers passionately display our biblically reformed heritage in words that are both rich in meaning and doctrine yet packed with practical implications and application.

I love the Puritans, these were men and women devoted to living out their theology in every aspect of their life. For the Puritans as well as for all Christians in history there is no division of life into secular and sacred. The Puritans understood all of life was “set apart” to God as sacred. Their homes, business, friendships and fellowship in the Church were all seen as the arena to practice Christian love toward others and devotion to God. One example of their deep commitment to God and the practice of godliness has been encapsulated for us in a small book titled “The Valley of Vision” which is a compilation of Puritan prayers.

My fellow reformed brothers and sisters are probably well acquainted with this title and I hope you are all acquainted with its rich and practical content.
If you are not acquainted with this work please let me serve you by sharing just a taste of the blessing with you in this blog. I pray you after reading this you will be challenged to prayer more passionately and biblically. Let this example help you to peer at life through the eyes of those who lives were marked by constant seeking and savoring the glory of God in all arenas of life.

Please read this slowly and carefully then use it as fuel for your own prayer life.

Sovereign God,
Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart,
and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom
to set up they kingdom in every place
where Satan reigns;

Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honor to thy name is my sole desire.

I adore thee that thou art God,
and long that others should know it, feel it, and rejoice in it.

O that all men might love and praise thee,
that thou mightest have all glory from the intelligent world!

Let sinners be brought to thee for thy dear name!
To the eye of reason everything respecting
the conversion of others is as dark as midnight,
But thou canst accomplish great things things;
the cause is thine,
and it is to thy glory that men should be saved.

Lord, use me as thou wilt,
do with me what thou wilt;
but, O, promote thy cause,
let thy kingdom come,
let thy blessed interest be advanced in the world!

O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!
Let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;
let me be willing to die to that end;
and while I live let me labour for thee
to the utmost of my strength,
spending time profitably in this work,
both in health and in weakness.

It is thy cause and kingdom I long for, not my own.

O, answer thou my request!

The “Valley of Vision” prayers remind us to go to Scripture to examine our heart and rejoice in God’s manifold graces that come to us through Jesus. Many of these prayers also remind us of the precious gift of Christian fellowship expressed through the local church. The Puritans put great biblical emphasis on the importance of gathering together locally to prepare their hearts to praise God with one voice.

Within the local Church they preached the one true Word, prayed together to the one true God, and praised God together with one voice united in Jesus Christ. This fueled their passion to go proclaim the Gospel of God to the world through evangelistic profession and personal holiness.

The Lord’s Day was precious to the Puritans because here they were feed the graces that fueled their hearts. From within the Church flowed a river of grace poured out into their souls and it shaped their life practically and passionately. That grace was first felt within their family life and then flowed out to the world. The Puritans called the family the little church. In their homes they fed upon Christ daily with their children which is our foremost ministry and mission field. This devotion led their children to see the transforming power of Jesus in their parent’s life then see that authentic witness reach out to the world.

The Puritans witness was not just intentional it was unavoidable for these dear souls because they were consumed with a desire see God glorified in every place and in every soul they met.

The Puritans consuming passion for God’s glory came their love of God’s Word which declares God’s chief end – “His own glory”.
The Puritans loved to hear the Word preached, practiced and praised!
Does that desire consume your soul today? Is there a seeking and savoring of scripture in your life? Do you love to gather with other saints in worship? Is there a burning desire to minister to your family first then the world? Are you and I consumed with seeing God glorified in the Church?

I pray that this simple prayer will help fuel your desire to see Jesus Christ exalted in and through the Church and go out into the world for the Glory of God the Father. Amen

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