I have found over the years that to change my behavior, I must create a new habit. If something is not in habit form, life happens and the best intentions go by the wayside.
Which is to explain why my much beloved copy of The Valley of Vision* now rests on my bedside table instead of with my Bible in the Study. When I go to bed, I see it there and remember to read one prayer each night. It has become a very good habit to develop.
I absolutely love the Puritan prayers. Their theology is deep compared to so much in today's church. The writing is lovely. They often show us that they had a very real sense of the brevity of this life and the hope for Eternity. The prayers in this devotional remind me why I love the music of Indelible Grace, one of the first groups to turn very old hymns into modern arrangements.
Last night, I was reading a prayer near the beginning of the devotional called The Mover. The imagery it provided in the final section reminded me of the above scene from The Return of the King. I thought you might like it...
...Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation
into the mould of purchase and freedom:
But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven,
I know that my sufferings are the result of my
but in heaven both shall cease:
Grant me to attain this haven and be done
and may the gales of thy mercy blow me safely
Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,
wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,
and make me ready for my departure hence.
Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this
This is but the last part of the prayer but the entire Truth throughout is that we are but fallen mankind who really desire to follow God perfectly but cannot. We try but in the end it is purely by His Salvation and His Grace that someday we go to His Land.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9 NIV
*Further information regarding The Valley of Vision can be found... here. The link, as are most to Amazon, is an Associate's link.