but thy cross has brought me near,
- has softened my heart,
has made me thy Father’s child,
has admitted me to thy family,
has made me joint-heir with thyself.
O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,
that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,
that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.
May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,
and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,
for unless he move mightily in me
no inward fire will be kindled.
~Valley of Vision, "Need of Jesus"
I have several books sitting on my nightstand with the intention of serving as rich, devotional reads either as I am waking up in the morning or just about to close my eyes before falling asleep. Just how good are my best intentions when I am not following through day after day after day? Countless mornings and evenings seem spent with the same passing thought, "I should definitely read that tonight." A fellow book-lover and friend gave me the gift of Valley of Vision awhile ago, and I have opened the pages to a specific prayer on occasional nights. There are divisions in the book, directing the reader to a specific topics and correlating prayers. I climbed into bed this past Friday night and happened upon "Need of Jesus." After days and weeks of kicking myself in the pants, this Puritan prayer resonated deep within my spirit. I am an undisciplined, doubtful, untrusting, hesitant, feeble woman who regularly acknowledges these things about myself, but I fail to regularly turn to the One who has redeemed me and called me His Bride. He is the One who gives repentance and turns my affections toward Himself, and He loves me! How can I love Him and love others when I hesitate to receive His love for me?? This Puritan prayer speaks the words of my own heart, words I utter much less eloquently.