I love promoting the collection of Puritan prayers, The Valley of Vision, as a resource for people who desire to grow in their practice and understanding of prayer. But, it's also a great tool for use in worship gatherings. We use many of the prayers from the Valley of Vision in a few different ways (eg. prayers of confession, responsive readings). This past Sunday we adapted the prayer, Need of Jesus, for congregational use as a responsive reading. The congregational responses are in bold.
Lord Jesus, We are blind, be our light, Ignorant, be our wisdom, Self-willed, be our minds.
Open our ears to grasp quickly your Spirit’s voice, And delightfully run after his beckoning hand;
Melt our consciences that no hardness remain, Make them alive to evil’s slightest touch;
When Satan approaches may we flee to your wounds, And there cease to tremble at all alarms.
Be our good shepherd to lead us into the green pastures of your Word, And cause us to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.
Fill us with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales May ruffle the calm surface of our souls.
The cross was upraised to be our refuge, Your blood streamed forth to wash us clean, Your death occurred to give us a surety, Your name is our property to save us, By you, all of heaven is poured into our hearts, But it is too narrow to comprehend your love.
We were strangers, outcasts, slaves, rebels, But your cross has brought us near, Has softened our hearts, Has made us our Father’s children, Has admitted us to your family Has made us joint-heirs with yourself.
O that we may love you as you love us, That we may walk worthy of you, our Lord, That we may reflect the image of Jesus Christ.
May we always see your beauty with clear eyes of faith, And feel the power of your Spirit in our hearts, For unless he moves mightily in us, No inward fire will be kindled.
- adapted from Need of Jesus. pg. 186