The Minister’s Covenant

A few days ago, I received a catalog announcing the sale of a book, The Valley of Vision. This book is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, edited by Arthus Bennet. The book was published also with an audio edition containing 7 CDs.

The publisher, The Banner of Truth, offers an audio sample on line. The sample, “The Valley of Vision,” is a beautiful prayer that shows the devotion and piety of those who composed these prayers.

The following is the daily devotion for Monday, 09, April 2007:

The Minister’s Covenant

Lord Jesus,
True God, everlasting Life,
Redeemer of sinners,
I give my body, soul, intellect, will, affections
to thee.

I call the day, sun,
earth, trees, stones,
wind, rain, frost, snow,
my home, bed, table, food,
books, drink, clothes,
to witness that I come to thee for rest of soul
from the thunders of guilt
and dread of eternity.

Grant me
a circumcised heart that I may love thee,
a right spirit that I may seek thy glory,
a principle within which thou wilt own,
an interest in the blood that cleanses,
the righteousness that justifies,
the redemption that delivers,
that I may not be found a hypocrite on
Judgment Day.

For the sake of thy cruel death take my time,
strength, gifts, talents, usefulness, piety,
which in full purpose of heart I consecrate to thee.
Let not sin find a place in my heart to becloud my
vision,
and may no foolish act wither my gifts.

Preserve me from the falls by which others stumble,
that thy name may not be blasphemed or wounded,
that thy people may not be grieved,
that thine enemies may not be hardened,
that my peace may not be injured.

Give me a heart full of love to thyself and to others.
Let me discover in this life what I am before thee,
that I may not find myself another character
hereafter.

Prepare me for death,
that I may not die after long affliction or suddenly,
but after short illness, with no confusion or disorder,
and a quiet discharge in peace, with adieu
to brethren.

Let not my days end like lumber in a house,
but give me a silent removing from one world
to another.
Inscribe these petitions in thy book,
present them to thy Father,
Set thine Amen to them, as I do on my part
of the covenant.

Claude Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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