Thursday, September 17, 2015

Prayers for the People (16): Deep Wells and Bright Stars

Prayer 16 in The Book of Common Prayer is for those in monastic orders. To stay in keeping with my own tradition, I am going to, instead, post a prayer from The Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett.

The Valley of Vision is a collection and compilation of puritan prayers. This is the first prayer in the book

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly

Thou who 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 the 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 Valley of Vision, Ed. Arthur Bennett, p xxiv-xxv

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