One final thought on preaching the gospel to yourself…for now, at least. Over the years, many of the prayers in The Valley of Vision, a collection or Puritan prayers and devotions, have helped me routinely drink deeply from the truth of the gospel. The language is a bit archaic, meaning you must tolerate a few “thee’s” and “thou’s” here and there. But the truths robed in such archaic speech help me to focus my mind and heart on the blessed hope of the gospel.
Here’s one example, from a prayer called “The Broken Heart”:
No day of my life has passed that thou has not proved me guilty in thy sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart; praise has been often praiseless sound; my best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in thy appeasing wounds.
Though my sins rise to heaven thy merits soar above them; though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell, thy righteousness exalts me to thy throne.
All things in me call for my rejection, all things in thee plead my acceptance.
The hope of justification by faith shines so brightly in these words. Our unrighteousness (all things in me) is credited to Christ, while Christ’s righteousness (all things in thee) is credited to us. All by faith.
The prayer concludes like this:
I am guilty, but pardoned; lost, but saved; wandering, but found; sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness, keep me always clinging to the cross, flood me every moment with descending grace, open to me the springs of divine knowledge, sparkling like crystal, flowing clear and unsullied through my wilderness of life.