Valley of Vision
It’s getting near Sunday. So, a dose of the preachers’ prayer is not amiss! However, I can’t reproduce it due to copyright restrictions. That’s sad, but you can follow the link or buy the book. Many of these ‘prayers’ are not prayers, of course, but were turned into prayers from the writings of various puritans by Arthur Bennett. Someone said to me recently, “I wish there were a footnoted version” – but there isn’t, and that’s in part, at least, because they are composites. You won’t find these precise prayers in the writings of the Puritans.
That’s not to say that the book is less helpful for it. No, not at all. And in fact, given that they are not verbatim prayers for the most part, I would love a gently modernised version that I could use in church. For there is a depth and breadth here that is sadly lacking in much of our public praying. It is perhaps churlish to keep asking this question but I do wonder how much of our public praying would be of the profundity that would make it into such a collection. And why not?
Of course, we want our public praying to be simple. We want it to be accessible so people can genuinely say “Amen”, but where’s the depth? Where’s the breadth? Where’s the deep doctrine? Most often, sadly lacking.