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The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  9,472 ratings  ·  301 reviews
The strength of Puritan character and life lay in prayer and meditation. In this practice the spirit of prayer was regarded as of first importance and the best form of prayer, for living prayer is the characteristic of genuine spirituality. Yet prayer is also vocal and may therefore on occasions be written. Consequently in the Puritan tradition there are many written praye ...more
Paperback, 223 pages
Published November 1st 1975 by Banner of Truth (first published 1975)
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Roxy I am currently reading these prayers. They are beautifully written and are helpful in guiding me in my prayers.

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4.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,472 ratings  ·  301 reviews

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Alexis Neal
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, 100-books
Quite possibly the best book I've read all year. These prayers are amazing. In Mudhouse Sabbath, Lauren Winner talks about the benefit of a formal prayer book. She notes that her free-form prayers often devolve into narcissism (this has definitely been my experience), but that the formal, written prayers refocus her on God. This book is a great example of the benefit of written prayers. My own free-form prayers often send me down a rabbit hole of my own personal worries and burdens--worries and ...more
This incredible volume is so theologically dense that it will take a lifetime of readings to fathom its depths. This is a book of prayers written by anonymous Puritans from centuries ago. But, boy, do these good folk know how to pray. The prayers are short (2 pages apiece in my edition) and one could easily read the entire book in a few days, but there is so much to ponder and meditate on that I limited myself to no more than 6 pages per reading session. This is a book that I will be coming back ...more
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotional
This book is a collection of excerpts from different Puritan writers arranged as prayers and organized by category. I have been reading a prayer a day with my devotions and have found it helpful to make their prayers my own. I only wish I knew which Puritans wrote them as the book doesn't tell you. Here are some of my favorite prayers:

May my words and works allure others to the highest walks of faith and love.

Teach me the happy art of attending to things temporal with a mind intent on things ete
Laura Anne
Aug 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It's amazing that Puritan prayers from hundreds of years ago are still so applicable and powerful in modern times. My favorite of the collection is "Morning Dedication," which ends this way: "May I speak each word as if my final word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day."
Douglas Wilson
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Good. First read it in 2002. Listened to an audio version of it narrated by Max McLean in 2015. That was good too. McLean's reading is good, although it sometimes borders on creepy. The Puritans represented are really solid. Their prayers sometimes veered into the predictably puritanical introspection, but there were many glorious stretches where they were doing nothing of the kind. There were many edifying phrases.
Jeff Elliott
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prayer, devotional
One of my favorite works! Putting words to prayers I cold only dream of praying. Immensely encouraging, challenging and inspirational!

It took me a long time to work through it because the wealth of content was so deep.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the most influential books in shaping my walk with Christ over the past four years. Will continue to read and re-read... many jewels here.
Leah H
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book I read, re-read and read again. My lifetime favorite. Stirs the soul and engages the affections.
This is a collection of prayers and meditations which the editor gleaned from Puritan writings. I picked this one up because I was doing a year-long study on prayer and was told this book contained good examples of prayers. The person who told me this was not wrong.

The language used by the writers of these prayers was beautiful and gave me much to think on. In addition, I gathered many examples of how to incorporate Scripture into my prayer life.

If you too are looking for ways to enhance your
Abby Jones
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if there is a more beautiful book of poetry in existance. The out pouring of love, adoration, begging for mercy, prayer for every element of life, brutal honesty found in these verses is enough to bring a sinner to tears. The praise of the Lord is uplifting. I found the whole thing to be both convicting and enriching of my prayer life. I can't recommend this book enough. Let it infuse your study time.
The Valley of Vision is a collection of prayers, 195 in all, compiled by Arthur Bennett from various men from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, David Brainerd, Isaac Watts, Augustus Toplady, Philip Doddridge, and Charles Spurgeon, as well as others. These short, devotional, poetic prayers are a wonderful way to start and/or end each day. They would serve well for private, personal devotions and meditation, or for family worship.

The prayers in this collectio
The Valley of Vision is an edited collection of prayers written by Puritan authors from the 16th to 19th centuries (e.g. Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, C.H. Spurgeon). This book has been a rich source of encouragement and food for my soul as I've read a prayer each day over the last 2 or 3 years. (How can there possibly be 400 pages & 200 prayers in a such a little book?! I should have bought the paperback, the thin paper in the leather bound edition ...more
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book of prayers. Great quiet time companion book.

The Valley of Vision Prayer:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I find myself returning to this volume again and again. When my spirit withers and I am parched in the desert where there is no water, I come to the stream with expectation and drink my fill. But time passes and the journey continues and I must return for more. Often I need a different spot because "you can't always get back the same way." That's okay because there are plenty of verses and prayers. They are thematically linked but different enough to show me refreshing new scenes on my way to se ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of prayers that I will without a doubt return to again and again. Walking through this book has been a profound help in strengthening my own personal prayer life. What Arthur Bennett has done in compiling these prayers and devotions has had a impact greater than he himself ever could have imagined. Each prayer is steeped in Scripture, filled with sound doctrine and, most importantly, points to Christ. The Puritans' writings have had an impact on my Christian life greater t ...more
Megan Larson
Some books should be able to have a higher plane for ratings than ordinary books. For example, the Bible should get "infinity" stars. It's not even on a continuum with other literature. And this book, while not in the same realm as the Bible, is so firmly grounded in Truth as to be more powerful than any other devotional work I have encountered. I will never stop reading it as a part of my own devotional times--it is immensely rich with an intermingling of solid, deep doctrine and heartfelt emot ...more
Lincoln Forlong
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As the title says, this is a collection of old, yet very true and wise prayers by godly people from the Puritan period.

They are profoundly insightful and heart stirring. These prayers wonderfully assist God's children in having deeper, more meaningful thoughts of our Lord.

Anyone wishing to develop shallow, flipant beliefs would find this an uncomfortable read.

This is a seriously healthy read which can be returned to many times over many years, and without disappointment.
Elaine Mazzo
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Even though this is in my "read" section, it is a book that can be read over and over again. These prayers focus my own prayers heavenward and really give me a vision to see how to pray and what to pray. High recommended!
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read Nov 2010; Jan 2014; May 2017
Apr 18, 2017 added it
Absolutely beautiful. Convicting and humbling. Every Christian should read take the time to read this.
Robert C. Rogers
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A former pastor introduced me to this amazing book of prayers when he quoted it in worship. I decided to buy a copy and spend this year slowly reading them in morning devotions. Collected and edited by British author Arthur Bennett, it contains over 200 prayers of Puritans such as Richard Baxter, David Brainerd, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, and Charles Spurgeon, whom Bennett calls "the last of the Puritans." (However, Arthur does not identify the authors of the individual prayers.) The prayers are ...more
Zachary McIntire
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Never did finish this, because I was using it as a daily devotional while it was borrowed from the library, which didn't work very well, because I ran out of time. I kept meaning to get it back out, but haven't gotten around to it yet, as other devotional books I own have since captured my attention. Still, I would like to finish it sometime, as it is quite inspiring. I eventually started praying the prayers aloud, which was my first experience reading prewritten prayers, and I found the experie ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Top Shelf Book
Excellent devotional resource
Michael Locklear
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful prayer-devotional! At times, the written prayers voiced my heart better than I ever could. Just to read/pray through “The Valley of Vision” once, or even twice, is not enough. I will keep this prayer-book close by.
Kofi Opoku
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very introspective. Very relevant to the times.
I could see how people might be intimidated by Valley of Vision. Why? Two reasons. First, it is a collection of poems. Some people do really love poetry, the experience of reading--feeling--a poem. But others not so much. Some poems can be really hard to unpack and understand. Sometimes poems leave you feeling disconnected, like you just can't relate. Second, all of the poems are by Puritans. Within some Christian circles, there's a celebration--an appreciation--of Puritans. So the fact that thi ...more
Scott Head
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-themes
Hardly a Christian prays such a well-conceived and considered prayer as a Puritan elder. This collection is a treasure of good doctrine poured out to heaven with fervency. Following Christ's model prayer, these prayers take the reader (or listener, there is an exceptional audio version) into the world of reverent awe, total dependency upon God, and humble petitions made to an all-sovereign Lord.

Want to learn how to pray, all the while learning about He to whom we pray? Get a copy, enjoy it, and
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: puritans, favorites
This is a great collection of prayers, from a passionate and praying people known as the Puritans (mainly 15th and 16th Century in England and New England). The man who collected these prayers, Arthur Bennett, advises people in the "Introductory" section of the book that The Valley of Vision is "not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying." He said that the prayers should be like "springboards for the individual’s own prayer subjects." That's what these prayers ...more
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Deep and reflective prayers, logically organized. I used this as part of my daily time with God for nearly a year, and it has been nourishing to my soul. Now I am going to start back at the beginning. The only thing I dislike is not having the prayers attributed to their authors. It sounds like the editor, Arthur Bennett, modified some, if not all, also. I guess that practice was common in 1975, when it was first published, but I found myself wondering, was that the prayer of Richard Baxter? Or ...more
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What a book!! 4 41 Jul 07, 2015 06:00AM  
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  • A Method for Prayer: Freedom in the face of God
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  • A Quest for Godliness
  • Westminster Confession Of Faith w/ Catechisms (1646-7) (and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Directories for Public and Private Worship, Form of Presbyterial Church Government, the Sum of Saving Knowledge)
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  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
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  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
“Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of godly grief, that trembles and fears, yet ever trust and loves, which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly the brightness and glories of the saving cross.”
“​Oh God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man's creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incar​​nate.” 6 likes
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