To the One I Praise

 


Mountains Will Sing

Gracious Father, you know how much I love mountains of all shapes and sizes. There's just something about mountains that causes my heart to feel the greatness of your glory and grace--the weightiness of your majesty and the endlessness of your mercy. What a Creator! What a creation!

I guess it started with Boy Scout trips to the hills of western North Carolina, then on to exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. And I'll never forget my first sighting of the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado--the shimmering aspen leaves against the rich blue of a humidity- and haze-free fall skyline!

But then there was the day I stepped off the train in the village of Interlaken, Switzerland, and got hammered with the holy wonder of three Alps: the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau. I can still see, smell, feel, and taste the sensual overload of that day. Indeed, Father, the works of your hands declare your glory, loud and clear. How can I keep from singing your praise?

But, Father, these words of Isaiah envision a day when the mountains themselves will burst into song--the new song of the new creation. Though your glory is clearly revealed in the beauty of your creation, it is revealed ten thousand times more in the redemption that you freely give us in Jesus. Jesus is the Alps of your mercy, grace, and love for us!

Because of Jesus, we, your redeemed people, will go out in joy and be led forth into peace, into shalom--the perfect order, society, environment, and world of the new heaven and new earth. You have spoken, you have promised, and so shall it be! Your Word will accomplish everything you decree and all your delights. With great hope we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

(a prayer of Scotty Smith, from his book, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faithphoto by Tamlyn Rhodes via everystockphoto.com ).

Deepen in Me

O Lover to the Uttermost,
may I read the meltings of thy heart to me
in the manger of thy birth,
in the garden of thy agony,
in the cross of thy suffering,
in the tomb of thy resurrection,
in the heaven of thy intercession.
Bold in this thought I defy my adversary,
tread down his temptations,
resist his schemings,
renounce the world,
am valiant for truth.

Deepen in me a sense of my holy relationship to thee,
as spiritual Bridegroom,
as Jehovah's Fellow,
as sinners' Friend.

I think of thy glory and my vileness,
thy majesty and my meanness,
thy beauty and my deformity,
thy purity and my filth,
thy righteousness and my iniquity.

Thou hast loved me everlastingly, unchangeably,
may I love thee as I am loved;
Thou hast given thyself for me,
may I give myself to thee;
Thou hast died for me,
may I live to thee,
in every moment of my time,
in every movement of my mind,
in every pulse of my heart.

May I never dally with the world and its allurements,
but walk by thy side,
listen to thy voice,
be clothed with thy graces,
and adorned with thy righteousness.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett; photo by 8moments via pixabay.com)

Like Jacob in the Garments of Esau

I come to you
like Jacob in the garments of Esau--
that is, in the merits
and precious blood of Jesus Christ.

(a prayer by Thomas Merton, from his book, Dialogues With Silence, p. 113)