‘Lord Jesus, give me a deeper…’

At my church, as part of the Sunday morning liturgy, we spend time in both private and corporate confession. The corporate prayer, which we read aloud together as a body, is usually taken from Arthur Bennett’s The Valley of Vision (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), a collection of prayers which Bennett selected and adapted from the vast corpus of Puritan literature.

I wanted to share with you guys today’s excerpt, which I’ve supplemented with visual meditations:

“Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be yours alone.

Francis Bacon, crucifixion figures

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, c. 1944. Oil on board support. Tate Collection.

“Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in you, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.

Peter walks on water

Robin Jensen, First Steps in Faith, 2004. Computer-mediated drawing, 18 x 13.3 in.

“Give me a deeper knowledge of yourself as savior, master, lord, and king.

Christ the King

Graham Sutherland, Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph, 1962. Tapestry, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, England.

“Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in your Word, more steadfast grip on its truth.

Job at Prayer by Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, Job at Prayer, 1960. Color lithograph with a black and white lithograph verso, 14.4 x 10.3 in.

“Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from you.

Isaiah in the Temple

Edward Knippers, Isaiah in the Temple, 2008. Oil on wood panel, 6 x 4 ft.

“Plough deep in me, great Lord, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until you alone are seen in me. I am nothing but what you make me. I can be nothing apart from the grace that adorns me.

John 12:23-26

Cerezo Barredo, Grain of Wheat, 1999.

“Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

Living Water

Linda McCray, Living Water, 2011? Acrylic and sand from Jerusalem on floating wood panel, 2 x 2 ft.

“Amen.”

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