Sometimes, there are no words, and we are not sure what to pray, especially for long term prayer needs, so I have found that while thinking of an old hymn, I can pray with much more meaning.
The hymn is one of the oldest known hymns, written as early as the 7th Century BC – “Be Thou My Vision”. However, every word of it is an appropriate prayer for us in the 21st Century!
This hymn itself is a prayer, and every word of it, to me, is like the next breath to get me through the toughest of trials,
“Be Thou My Vision, O Lord of my heart;/Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;/Thou my best thought by day or by night, /Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”
These words bring to mind the verse that says, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all of your heart.” Jer. 29:13.
So, I pray, “Be my vision, be my sons’ vision, be my daughters’ vision, be our vision. Lord, put us in full view of You, and may we give You Your rightful place as Lord. Use these trials and this time of affliction to draw our thoughts to You, Lord. ‘Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.’
That, in our broken state, we have thoughts of You throughout our day;You are my best thought-day or night: You are the Light that shines through this present darkness, (John 1:9), illuminating all that You are: You are the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’ (John 1:29), and in our time of great thirst, You give us living water, and it will become in us ‘ a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life,’ You are the Bread, You are the One that…, ‘in Your presence is fullness of joy!’
‘Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word; /I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;/ Thou my Great Father, and I thy true son,/Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.’
“My wisdom, their wisdom, be, at this time of trouble, ‘Be Thou my Wisdom!‘.‘Thou my true Word…”Lord, This can so easily be a time of confusion and doubt, but Your true word gives us wisdom and reminds us our position in You. You are always with me, You are always with them because You, Yourself have said,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. And that we would remember that we can boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”Hebrews 13:6.
“O Lord, and that this time of difficulty would bring those who are not in that position yet to call you their ‘great Father’, that they would humble themselves and receive Your love for them and be adopted in as Your child. That they may be able to say, ‘and I thy true son, Thou in me dwelling and I with thee one!’
“Be thou my Battle-shield, Sword for my fight,/Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my delight; /Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my High Tower, /Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my Power.”
We all agree, sickness is bad, but sometimes the treatment is worse than the sickness, ‘Be thou my Battle shield, sword for my fight’ was on my mind a lot during chemo. So, these are the words I pray for those suffering in their treatment:
“Be their Battle Shield, be my Battle shield. Be the sword for their fight and mine! Lord, that You would be their dignity, through this time of tearing down, and You would be their delight. Lord, that You would be my delight. Lord, this is a time when there is no strength in ourselves. Be our soul’s shelter, Be our High Tower!”
Praying in the Spirit and thinking on the words of this hymn truly do the work of ‘Raising me heavenward, O Power of my Power.’ So that is how I pray for those going through trial: “Holy Spirit, by your mighty power, raise them above the pain with more and more of Your grace, ‘O Power of my Power!’”
There are rich treasures in brokenness, but you can’t experience them by reading a book, so God blesses us with brokenness so we can say with all our heart:
‘Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;/ Thou mine inheritance, now and always;/ Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, /High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.’
When we are well and healthy, we don’t always see God for the treasure that He is. 1Peter reminds us that suffering helps us to ease our grip on sin, (covetous and greed to name a few). “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 1:6,7).
God strips away a lot, at times, however, He begins opening our eyes to what is really lasting, ‘Thou my inheritance, NOW and ALWAYS!’
“Lord, that is my prayer, that Jesus becomes ‘first’ in the hearts of those who are suffering pain, that Jesus becomes and remains ‘first’ in my heart! ‘Thou my inheritance now and always!’
What a fabulous hymn to pray with. It is so rich and full-and there is even more:
‘High King of Heaven, my victory won,/ May I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun!/Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,/ Still be my Vision, O Ruler of All’
“Lord, that we in our brokenness see the victory: ‘High King of heaven, my victory won. May I reach heaven’s joys bright heaven’s Son’…(!) Rev. 1:5, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Amen and Amen.)
Yes, Lord,this is how I pray: “You are in control! You know what You are doing even though it makes no sense to us. I pray for myself, and others facing huge difficulty, Lord, that no matter what happens we will keep our eyes on You, trusting You; be our Vision, be our Wisdom, be our Battle Shield, be our Sword, be our Dignity, be our High Tower, that we would see You as our rich Treasure and acknowledge You as our High King of heaven! You are Ruler of all, so, in trusting You always, ‘whatever befall’ may You receive the glory! May we trust in You, for You alone are ‘Ruler of all.’
‘Heart of my own heart,Whatever befall,/ Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all,’
In Jesus Name, Amen!”