I thought I’d be able to post this past Monday, but my vacation ended up being a little longer than I expected…I spent the last two days on a golf outing with a group of Sovereign Grace pastors. I’m a less than average golfer, but am seeking to get better because I enjoy doing it with my two sons.
In any case, I’m back finishing up work on a Sovereign Grace music project that hopefully should be out in July, in time for the WorshipGod06 conference in August. We asked the Sovereign Grace songwriters to submit songs inspired by the book, The Valley of Vision. There are a number of reasons we’re doing this, which I’ll share more on in future posts. One primary reason is to encourage more people to use this book as a devotional tool. The Puritans had a deep grasp of their sinfulness, God’s mercy in the Gospel, Christ’s God’s sovereignty and care, the work of the Spirit, and much more. These prayers are evidence of how much they imbibed biblical truth and applied it to their lives.
Here are the lyrics to one of the songs I wrote, inspired by the prayer, Regeneration. It’s a plea for God to overcome sin in my heart, a profession that the Spirit has raised me up and given me eternal hope, and a prayer that God be magnified in all I do.
O great God of highest heav’n
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel pow’r
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me yours forevermore
I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear your voice
Did not know your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then your Spirit gave me life
Opened up your Word to me
Through the Gospel of your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace
Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heav’n
Glorify your name through me.
Copyright 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise.
Greetings Bob! How was your vacation? Hopefully you (and the rest of the crew) didn’t suffer the effects of prolonged sun exposure!
On another note (“note”… hah hah), how DO you create a song when God insipres you with something he’s revealed to you whether it’s through a devotional book, the Gospel truth, and/or anything revealed in Scripture? What specific burdens do you experience while creating a song (i.e. tempo, “catchy” beats, etc.)?
Conservative Christians might get a livlier dialog going if they didn’t moderate their comments by excluding anyone who doesn’t simply say Amen to whatever they think. I’ve about given up.
My blog’s open to anyone.
What are you all afraid of? I’m polite, respectful. Where is your faith in your own beliefs?
Thanks for stopping by. You commented:
“Conservative Christians might get a livelier dialog going if they didn’t moderate their comments by excluding anyone who doesn’t simply say Amen to whatever they think. I’ve about given up…What are you all afraid of? I’m polite, respectful. Where is your faith in your own beliefs?”
I can’t comment for the blogs of all conservative Christians, but I can comment on this one. Blogs exist for different reasons. You might write one to stimulate lively dialogue. That’s great. However, I noticed that even on your blog you moderate comments, and that most of the comments I read seemed to agree with your idea of open-ended spirituality. I started this blog as an attempt help Christians, especially those who lead congregational worship, exalt the glory of Jesus Christ. I appreciate anyone who adds to what I write here, but it’s my responsibility to restrict anything I think is unhelpful, unwise, or unbiblical. On my sidebar, I say it like this:
“I may delete [a comment] altogether if an attitude, recommendation, or resource isn’t something I think will be helpful to readers. This is a public forum, but one that seeks to promote the worship and glory of Jesus Christ both in content and attitude.”
I appreciate your desire to be polite and respectful. I realize that if I do have something true to say, I don’t want my message to be obscured by the messenger. I’m trying to follow God’s command in 2 Timothy:
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”
Do I think I know all the truth? No. But after more than 30 years of reading, studying, meditating on, memorizing, teaching, hearing, reading, and seeking to apply the Bible, I’ve realized that certain truths are ones I’ll go to my grave believing and defending.
God is the sovereign Creator.
Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the world.
The Gospel – his perfect life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection – is our only hope for reconciliation with God.
Faith without works is dead.
But I want to defend those truths humbly and graciously – not arrogantly and blindly. Because I don’t know anything that God didn’t reveal to me in His kindness.
I pray your dialogue leads you to a greater knowledge of the God who made you for His glory, and the Savior whose glory will never fade.
I had stumbled across your site some weeks ago and have been very encouraged by what I see. Thanks for your posts about worship leading ministry! The idea for writing songs based on the “valley of vision” book is a great idea-don’t know why I couldn’t have thought of that. I’m a worship leader who will soon be attending SBTS in Louisville, so hopefully you will come around while I’m a student there.
Thanks for serving Him and us!
Bob, you always have the most gentle, sincere, and well-put posts and responses. Praise God for this blog..I only hope I can emulate what you do here for the readers of my blog, but ultimately emulate and give glory to Jesus Christ.
I am greatly encouraged to hear of the upcoming SG new release. I have so enjoyed Songs for the Cross Centered Life, Your Hymn Project, and the Worship God Live cd. I just posted a review on my site and heartily recommend your ministry and its recovery of God-centered, cross-exalting, affection stirring worship music. Keep grinding out solid stuff for the body of Christ.
If anyone hasn’t read through “The Valley of Vision”, I highly recommend it. We learn to pray largely by hearing others pray, and we can find no better models for prayer (apart from the Bible) than in these godly men we call the Puritans. Their prayers are always Christ-exalting and self-abasing. Use this book as a springboard for your own private prayers. Look to the right of this post for ordering information (no, I wasn’t paid a thing for this plug!).
Bob: Love the blog, and love the song. I can’t wait to hear it! The VOV project’s a great idea!
Great idea for a project! I can’t wait to hear it. There is an excellent song on Sandra McCracken’s latest project called “Grace upon Grace” that she says is an attempt to adapt one of the Valley of Vision prayers into song. You can listen to the song at the project website: http://www.igracemusic.com/sandrahymns/
I just wanted to thank you in advance for the new Valley of Vision project. I recently purchased a copy and was absolutely leveled by the weight of my sin and the glory of Christ. I have begun to pray these prayers not only for myself but also for my friends. As I share with them what I am praying, my friends are amazed to see how these Puritans so accurately describe their own struggles. This book is a must for any man in ministry. I cannot wait to hear the cd when you guys are done.