Prayer of Confession: Continual Repentance

O God of Grace, You have imputed our sin to our substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to our soul, clothing us with a bridegroom’s robe, decking us with jewels of holiness.

But in our Christian walk we are still in rags; our best prayers are stained with sin; our penitential tears are so much impurity; our confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; our receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

We need to repent of our repentance; we need our tears to be washed;

We have no robe to bring to cover our sins, no loom to weave our own righteousness;

We are always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace are always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly;

We are always going into the far country, and always returning home as prodigals, always saying, Father, forgive us, and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let us wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant us never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.

adapted from “Continual Repentance” (The Valley of Vision) © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

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The Life Look

O God,
We bless you for the happy moment when we first saw your law fulfilled in Christ,
wrath appeased, death destroyed,
sin forgiven, our souls saved.

Ever since, you have been faithful to us:
daily have we proved the power of Jesus’ blood,
daily have we known the strength of the Spirit, our teacher, director, sanctifier.

We want no other rock to build upon than that we have,
desire no other hope than that of gospel truth,
need no other look than that which gazes on the cross.

Forgive us if we have tried to add anything to the one foundation,
if we have unconsciously relied upon our knowledge,
experience, deeds, and not seen them as filthy rags,
if we have attempted to complete what is perfect in Christ;

May our cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus!
In him is freedom from condemnation,
fullness in his righteousness,
eternal vitality in his given life,
everlasting union in fellowship with him;
In him we have all that we can hold;
enlarge us to take in more.

If we backslide,
let us like Peter weep bitterly and return to him;
If we are tempted, and have no wit,
give us strength enough to trust in him;
If we are weak,
may we faint upon his bosom of eternal love;
If in extremity,
let us feel that he can deliver us;
If driven to the verge of hope and to the pit of despair,
grant us grace to fall into his arms.

O God, hear us, do for us more
than we ask, think, or dream.

Amen.

adapted from “The Life Look” (The Valley of Vision) © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

The Great God

O Fountain of All Good,
Destroy in us every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,
Implant in us true lowliness of spirit,
Abase us to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in us a fount of penitential tears,

Break us, then bind us up;
Thus will our hearts be a prepared dwelling for you, our God;

O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,
inhabit us, a temple consecrated to your glory.

When you are present, evil cannot abide;
In your fellowship is fullness of joy,
Beneath your smile is peace of conscience,
By your side no fears disturb,
no apprehensions banish rest of mind.

Nothing exceeds your power,
Nothing is too great for you to do,
Nothing too good for you to give,
Infinite is your might, boundless your love,
limitless your grace, glorious your saving name.
Amen.

adapted from “The Great God” (The Valley of Vision) © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

God the Source of All Good

O Lord God, who inhabits eternity,
The heavens declare Your glory,
The earth Your riches,
The universe is Your temple;
Your presence fills immensity,
Yet You have of Your pleasure created life,
and communicated happiness;

You have made us what we are, and given us what we have;
In You we live and move and have our being;

Your providence has set the bounds of our habitation,
and wisely administers all our affairs.

We thank You for Your riches to us in Jesus,
for the unclouded revelation of him in Your Word,
where we behold his Person, character, grace, glory, humiliation, sufferings, death, and resurrection;

Help us to feel a need of his continual saviorhood,
and cry with Job, ‘I am vile’,
with Peter, ‘I perish’,
with the tax collector, ‘Be merciful to me, a sinner’.

Subdue in us the love of sin,
Let us know the need of renovation as well as of forgiveness,
in order to serve and enjoy You forever.

We come to You in the all-prevailing name of Jesus,
with nothing of our own to plead,
no works, no worthiness, no promises.

We are often straying,
often knowingly opposing Your authority,
often abusing Your goodness;

Much of our guilt arises from our religious privileges,
our low estimation of them,
our failure to use them to our advantage,

But we are not careless of Your favor or regardless of Your glory;
Impress us deeply with a sense of Your omnipresence,
that You are about our path, our ways, our lying down, our end.

Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

adapted from “God the Source of All Good” (The Valley of Vision)
© 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

God the All

O God whose will conquers all,
There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying You
and being engaged in Your service;

You are All in all, and all enjoyments are what to us You make them, and no more.
We are well pleased with Your will, whatever it is,
or should be in all respects,
And if You would have us decide for ourselves in any matter,
we would choose to refer all to You,
for You are infinitely wise and can do no wrong,
as we are in danger of doing.

We rejoice to think that all things are at Your disposal,
and it delights us to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all we can do is to adore and bless You.

What shall we give You for all Your benefits?
We are in a strait between two, knowing not what to do;
We long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,
and can only rejoice that You do all,
that none in heaven or on earth shares Your honor;

We can of ourselves do nothing to glorify Your blessed name,
but we can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to You,

We know that You are the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is Yours alone,
that every good work or thought found in us is the effect of your power and grace,
that Your sole motive in working in us to will and to do is for Your good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness,
when, if You did not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, You have taught us concerning ourselves.

Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

adapted from “God the All” (The Valley of Vision)
© 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
You have brought us to the valley of vision,
where we live in the depths but see You in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin, we behold Your glory.

Let us learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells
and the deeper the wells the brighter Your stars shine;

Let us find Your light in our darkness,
Your life in our death,
Your joy in our sorrow,
Your grace in our sin,
Your riches in our poverty,
Your glory in our valley.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

adapted from “The Valley of Vision” (The Valley of Vision)

A Cry for Deliverance

Heavenly Father, save us entirely from sin.

We know we are righteous through the righteousness of another, but we long to reflect your likeness;

We are your children and should bear your image, enable us to recognize our death unto sin; when it tempts us may we be deaf unto its voice.

Deliver us from the invasion as well as the dominion of sin. Grant us to walk as Christ walked, to live in the newness of his life, the life of love, the life of faith, the life of holiness.

We abhor these bodies of death, their idleness, envy, meanness, and pride.

Forgive, and kill these vices, have mercy on our unbelief, on our corrupt and wandering hearts.

When your blessings come we begin to idolize them, and set our affections on the creation rather than the creator.

Cleanse our spiritual adultery and give us purity; close our hearts to all but you.

Sin is our greatest curse; let your victory over it be apparent to our consciousness, and displayed in our lives.

Help us to be always devoted, confident, obedient, resigned, childlike in our trust of you, to love you with soul, body, mind, strength, to love others as we love ourselves,

to be saved from unregenerate tempers, hard thoughts, slanderous words, meanness, unkind manners, to master our tongues and guard the door of our lips.

Fill us with grace daily, that our lives may be overflowing fountains of sweet water for your glory and for the fame of the Gospel, Amen.

-adapted from “A Cry for Deliverance” (The Valley of Vision)