Spending time alone with God is the most precious part of my day. I treasure it. I guard it. And I work to make the most of it. I try not to be rigid in my approach because it is, over and above all, a relationship. I have my bible, a pencil and pen, and something else to “prime the pump” so to speak, of my heart. These “extras” include things like The Treasury of David (Spurgeon’s commentary on the Psalms), Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, and The Valley of Vision, a collection of puritan prayers and devotions.
The Valley of Vision isn’t for everyone. The language is a little antiquated (complete with thee’s and thou’s), the theology is deeply profound, and it pulls no punches with the issue of personal sin. But it works for me. And it ministers to me at the deepest level.
I have a few favourites in this little book. One of them is called “God’s Cause.” Left to myself, without the aid of the Holy Spirit, everything in my world centres on me – my concerns, my preferences, and my agenda. This little prayer challenges that. It reminds me that I am not the focal point of my existence, God is. God is not serving my kingdom; I am serving his. When God answers prayer, or does something wonderful in my life, it is for his cause, not mine. And when people come to know Jesus under my ministry (or anyone’s ministry), it is because – and only because, God willed it to be so. For his glory.
May this little prayer minister to your soul today as it has numerous times to mine (Note: I have changed “thy” and “thou” to “you” and “your” for easier reading).
Your cause, not my own, engages my heart,
and I appeal to you with greatest freedom
to set up your kingdom in every place
where Satan reigns;
Glorify yourself and I shall rejoice,
for to bring honour to your name is my sole desire.
I adore you that you are God,
and long that others should know it, feel it,
and rejoice in it.
O that all men might love and praise you,
that you might have all glory
from the intelligent world!
Let sinners be brought to you for your dear name!
To the eye of reason everything respecting
the conversion of others is as dark as midnight.
But you can accomplish great things;
the cause is yours,
and it is to your glory that men should be saved.
Lord, use me as you will,
do with me what you will,
but O, promote your cause,
let your kingdom come,
let your blessed interest be advanced
in this world
O do bring in great numbers to Jesus!
Let me see that glorious day,
and give me to grasp for multitude of souls;
let me be willing to die to that end;
and while I live let me labour for you
to the utmost of my strength,
spending time profitably in this work,
both in health and in weakness.
It is your cause and kingdom I long for,
not my own.
O, answer my request!