At Grace and Truth Books, we often send out the classic devotional, The Valley of Vision, a compilation of prayers, intended to teach and encourage Christians to be faithful in their private and family worship. This beautiful volume has been the most popular Puritan book in print since its release in 1975. In it, the prayers of the Puritans are brought to life, including those of Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts and others.
I often offer up a quick prayer that it will bless the reader that I am sending it to as much as it has blessed me. I can’t help but smile as I think of the way that this devotional first intersected with my life.
We were facing financial stress. My husband’s commission checks had been unusually low for a long period of time. We were a little short for the bills, so I had called each company and had arranged to pay them late with his next check, which was supposed to have a $500 bonus included with it. For some reason, his check did not have the bonus and I did not have enough to follow through with the arrangements I had made. I was really dreading and fretting about calling those companies to tell them I didn’t have the money after all.
That morning, I had read a short passage in my new devotional, The Valley of Vision, which talked about, when in a trial, it is better to pray for God to be glorified in the trial, even if it means staying in it, instead of just praying for a way out of the trial. I remember not being able to earnestly pray in that way, so I started pleading with the Lord, “Help me to pray that prayer; grant me your Spirit’s power so that would be my plea- your glory, not my comfort or our stability.” And He did. Through the Spirit’s power, I prayed that God would be glorified through this trial, even if it meant keeping us in it for a time. As I was getting up from praying, now with a peaceful heart and ready to call about those bills, my phone rang.
A friend that I had not seen for a very long time, asked if I would be home for the next 30 minutes; she had something to bring by. She came over and handed me $500, telling me, she and her husband had prayed about a bonus that was coming to them that they didn’t need, asking God to whom they should give it to. The Lord had put us on their hearts and that morning, they had received the bonus. I never did have to make those phone calls! And even more importantly, I was taught to pray, as first importance, for the Lord’s glory through trials even when that won’t always mean deliverance. And for that lesson, I am thankful and will forever think of that devotional with much fondness. It has stretched my faith in so many other areas and has taught me to pray with a much higher purpose than I had before I began reading it.
If you’d like a copy of this gem, we offer The Valley of Vision in two different formats; paperback and a deluxe bonded leather edition. Come in to see us, give us a call or order from our website. You won’t be sorry.