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O May Christ Glorify Him Incessantly

Sometimes I use the Valley of Vision prayers like a starter motor for my own prayer life.  (Some of them are here).

This morning I was praying through Consecration and Worship.  It reminded me of a lot of the issues I tried to raise with my 'Christ our Substitute' video.  Here's the prayer.  Note the ending especially:

My God, I feel it is heaven to please Thee, and to be what Thou wouldst have me be. O that I were holy as Thou art holy, pure as Christ is pure, perfect as Thy Spirit is perfect! These, I feel, are the best commands in Thy Book, and shall I break them? must I break them? am I under such a necessity as long as I live here?

Woe, woe is me that I am a sinner, that I grieve this blessed God, who is infinite in goodness and grace! O if He would punish me for my sins, it would not would my heart so deep to offend Him; But though I sin continually, He continually repeats His kindness to me.

At times I feel I could bear any suffering, but how can I dishonour this glorious God? What shall I do to glorify and worship this best of beings? O that I could consecrate my soul and body to His service, without restraint, for ever! O that I could give myself up to Him, so as never more to attempt to be my own! or have any will or affections that are not perfectly conformed to His will and His love! But, alas, I cannot live and not sin.

O may angels glorify Him incessantly, and, if possible, prostrate themselves lower before the blessed King of heaven! I long to bear a part with them in ceaseless praise; but when I have done all I can to eternity I shall not be able to offer more than a small fraction of the homage that the glorious God deserves. Give me a heart full of divine, heavenly love.

I can pray this prayer with heartfelt devotion.  I empathise completely with the sense of inadequacy from which it springs.  But I always feel a little odd about it.  As though the Father will be forever short-changed.  As though angels and men will do their best into eternity but it won't be enough.  I mainly feel odd because Christ our High Priest - i.e. our Worshipper! - is not being credited with a job well done.  So, I think I'd like to rework it:

I confess Father that I do not consecrate my soul and body to Thy service and I grieve over my dry and sullied devotion.  Indeed Father, I cannot consecrate myself as I might, as I would, as I ought.  Woe, Woe is me that I am a sinner.  Therefore I look again to Thy Son - given up to Thee, without restraint and without ceasing; every will and affection perfectly conformed to Thy will and love.  I look to Jesus, the heavenly Worshipper, the Director of music, the eternal High Priest.

O may Christ glorify Thee incessantly.  He who stooped to depths far deeper than men or angels have trod; He who has paid homage at infinite cost; He whose blood speaks a better word than all creation ever could; He who is full beyond measure with Thy Spirit of truth and of glory and grace; He who was born and baptised, who was raised and appointed to be Thy Priest and mine - may He offer my praise.   And will you accept mine from Him - my Amen a faint but hearty echo from below.  I thank Thee and bless Thee for Thy perfect rest in Christ, confident of a full share in that homage that echoes into eternity with ceaseless praise.

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0 thoughts on “O May Christ Glorify Him Incessantly

  1. codepoke

    OH, I wish there were a save as draft feature on comments. I love what you've done here, and like you, I can enter into both these prayers with heart felt devotion. I'm not sure whether to comment from a third perspective or not. The Puritan perspective outstanding and correct. Your perspective is outstanding and correct. Both are edifying. If you'll remember I'm not trying to erase either of your prayers, I'll throw out another point of view.

    I am watching a child grow right now who's afraid to color a picture. He'll get 90% of the way through a wonderful picture then X it out, crumple it up, and throw it away. That feels to me like the Puritan prayer. And then it seems your prayer hands the sheet of paper over to your older brother and asks Him to draw the picture for you and you'll initial it when it's done.

    Those are both real feelings we have and want to bring to our Father. Those are both sentiments He understands and wants to hear and that glorify Him. I think, though, that there's room for not feeling inadequate at all.

    Even the magnificent love of Jesus is no substitute for our own, because a prayer's not in its elegance but its essence. The essence of a believer's prayer is a living instance of the divine nature. A child's art is beautiful not because it's cute or flawed or because it's my child's, but because that art is human. A six year old's stick-figure pony is intelligible in the same way as the Sistine Chapel. It certainly doesn't say as much, but it speaks and it speaks honestly.

    I want my child to express his heart to me. I don't want him to glorify me precisely, but love me freely. The Son cannot love the Father for me.

    I once wrote a post declaring that the worst words a child can learn are, "I do it my-seff!" A stiff-necked child is one bent on his own destruction, but this isn't that. Only the Son glorifies the Father perfectly, and so your prayer is spot on, but we can love Him freely ourselves.

  2. Glen

    I've always loved Calvin's comment on Psalm 22:22 - Christ is the Heavenly Choirmaster who tunes our hearts to sing God's praise. You can just imagine the children under their Elder Brother's tutelage singing their little hearts out.

    Maybe my latest post on Bobby McFerrin is a dim picture of it - He leads some very mixed but still enthusiastic singing but is able to turn it into a joyful (even a tuneful!) noise.

  3. codepoke

    I was listening to Leviticus tonight, and the Lord made an odd declaration that arrested my attention:

    Lev 22:22 & 23 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer [for] a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.

    The freewill offering cannot be damaged, but neither does it have to be balanced in every particular. I wonder if the Lord were not telling us our spontaneous affection to Him would be welcomed?

  4. Glen

    Interesting verse. It seems to me in general that propitiatory sacrifices are to be without blemish. Free will offerings can be 'less than perfect'. It might be an instructive distinction between Christ's perfect sacrifice and our less than perfect one?? Dunno

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