Sometimes I read prayers, poems and other literary devices in my personal bible study. This is, of course, in conjunction with my time God’s Word. I have recently picked up a copy of The Valley of Vision, having first heard of it through Tim Challies. I would recommend this collection highly to you. Below is the cry of my heart, as a pastor, but it is verbalized more beautifully then I could ever have penned:
taken from the Valley of Vision: a Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
O my Lord,
Let not my ministry be approved only by men,
or merely win the esteem and affections of people;
but do the work of grace in their hearts,
call in thy elect,
seal and edify the regenerate ones,
and command eternal blessings on their souls.
Save me from self-opinion and self-seeking;
water the hearts of those who hear thy Word,
that seed sown in weakness may be raised in power;
cause me and those that hear me
to behold thee here in the light of special faith,
and hereafter in the blaze of endless glory;
make my every sermon a means of grace to myself,
and help me to experience the power of thy dying love,
for thy blood is balm,
thy presence bliss,
thy smile heaven,
thy cross the place where truth and mercy meet.
Look upon the doubts and discouragements of my ministry
and keep me from self-importance;
I beg pardon for my many sins, omissions, infirmities,
as a man, as a minister;
command thy blessing on my weak, unworthy labours,
and on the message of salvation given;
stay with thy people,
and may thy presence be their portion and mine.
When I preach to others
let not my words be merely elegant and masterly,
my reasoning polished and refined,
my performance powerless and tasteless,
but may I exalt thee and humble sinners.
O Lord of power and grace,
all hearts are in thy hands,
all events at thy disposal,
set the seal of thy almighty will upon my ministry.
Question: In addition to your Bible reading, what other resources do you use in personal worship?