Plow Deep

  • Sept. 22, 2017
  • #9235

Greater intimacy with Jesus includes suffering as He suffered, following His footsteps.

Plow Deep

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a favorite Puritan prayer. It’s from the Valley of Vision, a collection of prayers by the Puritans, and I’ve said it so often, I almost know it by heart. It goes like this:It says:

“Oh Lord, give me a deeper repentance; give me a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me to flee from it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be inclined to Thee alone. Give me a deeper trust, that I might lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as Savior, as Master, Lord and King, Give me a deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, and thought, and action. Plough deep in me, Great Lord, heavenly husbandman. That I may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide. Until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. So quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living waters.”

I think you can probably see why I love that prayer. And the Valley of Vision is filled with prayers like these. Actually, if you’d like a copy of this one, you can download it on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org. It’s really worth memorizing. The kind of prayer to offer up when, well, when you find your thoughts wandering, or you want fresh words to say to the Lord in worship, say these words: Plow deep in me, great Lord. That’s a risky prayer because we are asking God to help us go deeper with Him. To ask for deeper knowledge of our Savior or a deeper holiness or a deeper power in prayer, all that is to ask God to take His plow (the sharp, cutting edge of His hard will) and run our lives through, furrow us, unearth parts in us that need to be tilled, places in our soul that have been facedown and too long in the dark; turn those places upside down, upright to the sunshine of God’s love and the showers of His mercy. Plow deep in me, Lord. It’s a risky prayer because it is an invitation into the school of suffering.

It’s as 1 Peter Chapter 2, verse 21 says, “To this we were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His steps.” Look friend, no one goes to Christ’s heaven unless they first take up their cross daily and follow in His steps. God shares His joy on His terms, and those terms call for us to, in some measure, suffer as He did, maybe not to the degree He did, but certainly to the manner with which Jesus approached His cross. Oh, the amazing intimacy and sweetness of knowing Jesus through your suffering; the sweet satisfaction and pleasure of knowing the Man of Sorrows on that level. Wow! Believe me, the suffering is worth it. That’s coming from the lady in the wheelchair, who’s battled cancer and who deals with chronic pain. You will not regret being given a seat in the school of suffering. So join me in asking God to plow you deep, quarry you deep. O Lord, till my soul and turn its soil upright to the Son of God. Help me grow as I’ve never grown before. And it all starts with that simple prayer from the Valley of Vision.

So don’t forget, you can download that Puritan prayer that I just shared at my radio page today at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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