Silence and Solitude with the Puritans

Last Monday, I had the opportunity to get away for an entire day of silence and solitude–away from computers, cell phones, television, radio, etc. It was extremely refreshing and long overdue. Lord willing I hope this will become a monthly routine for me. In case you are curious, some of this was instigated by a series of posts by C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll.

I would like to share one element of my time with you. I began be reading over my personal journal and reflecting on 2009 as a whole. Some of that was very encouraging and some not so much. Recently, in my own personal devotional time I’ve been reading through some Puritan prayers in a book called The Valley of Vision. Last week I was on page 134 at a prayer entitled “The Deeps.” The Lord moved. Here’s the prayer (with some updated language):

Lord Jesus,

Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;

Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart
shall be yours alone.

Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in you,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.

Give me a deeper knowledge of yourself,
as Savior, Master, Lord and King.

Give me a deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in your Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from you.

Plough deep in me, great Lord,
heavenly Husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until you alone are seen in me,
your beauty golden like summer harvest,
your fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no Master but you,
no law but your will,
no delight but yourself,
no wealth but that you give,
no good but that you bless,
no peace but that you bestow,

I am nothing but that you make me,
I have nothing but that I receive from you,
I can be nothing but that grace alone adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing
with living water.

I think this really sums up my day of prayer and reflection. Plough deep in me Lord! This was really a challenge (turning off all electronics and spending time in seclusion), but it was really worth it. I’ll be commenting more on what I learned from my time, about myself, the Lord and his church.

Merry Christmas!

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