I love the book of Puritan Prayers ‘Valley of Vision’. The Puritans were a group of English Protestant Christians in the 16th and 17th Century searching for ‘pure’ worship and doctrine. Even though there are problems with their practice, I find their extended reflections on sin and God’s grace to be very helpful in my prayers. This morning in chapel we prayed this prayer at the end. It refocuses me.
As I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to thy care; watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify and bless me. Incline my heart to your ways; mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay; let those around me see me living by your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as a never dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, or hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this day all my communications according to your wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.