Sometimes I use the Valley of Vision prayers like a starter motor for my own prayer life. (Some of them are here).
This morning I was praying through Consecration and Worship. It reminded me of a lot of the issues I tried to raise with my ‘Christ our Substitute‘ video. Here’s the prayer. Note the ending especially:
My God, I feel it is heaven to please Thee, and to be what Thou wouldst have me be. O that I were holy as Thou art holy, pure as Christ is pure, perfect as Thy Spirit is perfect! These, I feel, are the best commands in Thy Book, and shall I break them? must I break them? am I under such a necessity as long as I live here?
Woe, woe is me that I am a sinner, that I grieve this blessed God, who is infinite in goodness and grace! O if He would punish me for my sins, it would not would my heart so deep to offend Him; But though I sin continually, He continually repeats His kindness to me.
At times I feel I could bear any suffering, but how can I dishonour this glorious God? What shall I do to glorify and worship this best of beings? O that I could consecrate my soul and body to His service, without restraint, for ever! O that I could give myself up to Him, so as never more to attempt to be my own! or have any will or affections that are not perfectly conformed to His will and His love! But, alas, I cannot live and not sin.
O may angels glorify Him incessantly, and, if possible, prostrate themselves lower before the blessed King of heaven! I long to bear a part with them in ceaseless praise; but when I have done all I can to eternity I shall not be able to offer more than a small fraction of the homage that the glorious God deserves. Give me a heart full of divine, heavenly love.
I can pray this prayer with heartfelt devotion. I empathise completely with the sense of inadequacy from which it springs. But I always feel a little odd about it. As though the Father will be forever short-changed. As though angels and men will do their best into eternity but it won’t be enough. I mainly feel odd because Christ our High Priest – i.e. our Worshipper! – is not being credited with a job well done. So, I think I’d like to rework it:
I confess Father that I do not consecrate my soul and body to Thy service and I grieve over my dry and sullied devotion. Indeed Father, I cannot consecrate myself as I might, as I would, as I ought. Woe, Woe is me that I am a sinner. Therefore I look again to Thy Son – given up to Thee, without restraint and without ceasing; every will and affection perfectly conformed to Thy will and love. I look to Jesus, the heavenly Worshipper, the Director of music, the eternal High Priest.
O may Christ glorify Thee incessantly. He who stooped to depths far deeper than men or angels have trod; He who has paid homage at infinite cost; He whose blood speaks a better word than all creation ever could; He who is full beyond measure with Thy Spirit of truth and of glory and grace; He who was born and baptised, who was raised and appointed to be Thy Priest and mine – may He offer my praise. And will you accept mine from Him – my Amen a faint but hearty echo from below. I thank Thee and bless Thee for Thy perfect rest in Christ, confident of a full share in that homage that echoes into eternity with ceaseless praise.