O Love Beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless Thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown.
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not.
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.
Arthur Bennett, ed., “Year’s End,” in The Valley of Vision:
A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1983), 111.
Thank you to Nick Roarke who recently highlighted this prayer on his wonderful site, Tolle Lege. Dana and I own The Valley of Vision. In reading these marvelous Puritan prayers, you will be amazed at the poverty of thought and language to which most of us have fallen in just a few centuries. These prayers give words to emotions that I have but for which I lack the ability to express in a soul-expressing manner beyond “thank you for this day” -type prayers. I encourage the purchase and use of this book. I continue to hope and pray that the prayers will help to release my tongue from the trite fare with which I too often speak to God and give true voice to what my heart wants to express if it were not for my great lack. If you want to begin to train your mind for higher thoughts of God and godliness, I encourage the reading of such men as Jeremiah Burroughs, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, etc. See if you are not challenged to a deeper walk of faith and holiness.