Sovereign Grace Apologetics

Writing for God's glory! http://www.sgapologetics.com/ By Jeremy Hull

A scary prayer?

As I was listening to Refnet yesterday in between a couple messages that were being preached they read from a devotional that they usually do called “Valley of Visions." 

This book if you’re not familiar with it you should do a quick Google Search and you’ll find at least a few websites that have it. I called it a devotional but it’s mainly just the prayers of the puritans. However when they play this I typically try to pause whatever I’m doing, if possible, and concentrate deeply on what’s being said. I don’t do it just to pay attention but because I was to make it my prayer as I’m listening but today after I heard the first few lines my mind went somewhere else. It wasn’t just that I was daydreaming on something apart from it but because as I was making it my prayer I got scared and started to think on what it would look like if God answered this prayer in my life and that scared me. 


Here is the first part of that prayer


O FOUNTAIN OF ALL GOOD,

Destroy in me every lofty thought, 

Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,

Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,

Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,

Open in me a fount of penitential tears,

Break me…

“Now I must say that if I didn’t believe that God is sovereign and able to do whatever He wants among the army of Heaven and the inhabitants of the Earth then this prayer wouldn’t be so scary to me. If God had to bow to the false god of me, myself, and I then asking God to break me isn’t that scary because He couldn’t. However what kind of God would this be? The weak, pansy god that we couldn’t trust when He says that, "all things work together for good to them that love God.” This false god we shouldn’t even bother to pray to for Him to save our loved ones. Fortunately for us that’s not the God we serve but we do serve One that answers prayer and can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, and to whomever He wants. That is why I saw my life change as I was thinking on this prayer. I must say now that I should never be scared of a prayer like this. Not only because I do trust God but because I know if He breaks me He’ll heal me even better. 

That brings me to the second half of this prayer that I didn’t even hear because I was so lost in thought and terror. 

Here is the full prayer

“Destroy in me every lofty thought,      

Break pride to pieces and scatter it    to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of    self-righteousness,

Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,

Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,

Open in me a fount of penitential tears,

Break me, then bind me up;

Thus will my heart be a prepared dwelling    for my God; 

 Then can the Father take up his abode in me,  

Then can the blessed Jesus come with healing    in his touch, 

 Then can the Holy Spirit descend in    sanctifying grace;

O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,  

inhabit me, a temple consecrated to thy glory.

When thou art present, evil cannot abide;

In thy fellowship is fullness of joy,

Beneath thy smile is peace of conscience,

By thy side no fears disturb,  no apprehensions banish rest of mind,

With thee my heart shall bloom with fragrance;

Make me meet, through repentance,  for thine indwelling.

Nothing exceeds thy power,

Nothing is too great for thee to do,

Nothing too good for thee to give. 

 Infinite is thy might, 

boundless thy love,  

limitless thy grace, 

glorious thy saving name.

Let angels sing for        

sinners repenting,        

prodigals restored,        

backsliders reclaimed,        

Satan’s captives released,       

 blind eyes opened,        

broken hearts bound up,        

the despondent cheered,        

the self-righteous stripped,       

 the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,       

 the ignorant enlightened,        

and saints built up in their holy faith.

I ask great things of a great God.“

(Taken from the book Valley of Vision)


"Wow!” That’s what I said! It’s not a scary prayer for a loving God to break us! What was I thinking? I know exactly what I was thinking! I was thinking about myself and my comfort! However, can we name one saint who was worth anything who remained comfortable? Do we think that Martin Luther had a comfortable life during the reformation? How about John Calvin? Maybe Charles Spurgeon had it easy? None of these? Maybe I should look at modern men of God? R.C. Sproul definitely had an easy life right? John MacArthur’s life has probably been a piece of cake! I know, I jest. Anybody worth a hill of beans in the kingdom of God has struggled but God is the God of all comforts and He comforts them in the midst of the struggle! He calms the sea when we think He doesn’t care for us! O, what a blessing it is to be broken by God! Now let’s pray this together with full confidence that God will bless us through it and He’ll be glorified because of it! Amen? 


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