New Beginnings

When the sun comes up over the snow on a seven-degree morning, I like to step out on the porch –albeit it ever so briefly — and take photos of the new day. So this morning I opened the kitchen door, pointed the lens towards my neighbor’s home and took the photo.

As well as the camera works, it never quite captures the cobalt blue of the western Maryland skies in contrast to the austere whiteness of the snow and the gray starkness of the leafless trees standing guard over our log home.

Each day provides a new beginning, another opportunity to greet the Lord and carry on a dialogue. So my thoughts today are not geared toward New Year’s resolutions, but to the ways I begin conversations with Christ.

The view out the front door delivers a variety of shadows and sunlight patterns that illustrate God’s diversity. Yet, don’t I begin virtually all my prayers with “Dear Lord”?

I write letters that way, but I don’t meet a friend in the grocery store or at church and say, “Dear Elaine,” or “Dear Karen.”

So I began my morning by thinking of various new ways to address the Lord of heaven and earth when I pray. Scripture gives Him many titles and provides a host of traits that offer variety and keep my prayers fresh by actively engaging my mind to think about the One to whom I speak.

Heavenly Father

Gracious Lord



Precious Lord  Jesus

In the midst of making my list of salutations for prayer, I grabbed my husband’s volume of the Puritan classic, Valley of Vision. This small work, edited by Arthur Bennett, and published by Banner of  Truth,  gathers prayers from Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, David Brianerd, Philip Doddridge, Issac Watts and others.

Although maligned in literary works such as The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans seem to have grasped a balance rarely achieved in human dialogue with God. Puritan writers weave together  the depths of our sinfulness, the glory of God and the magnitude of God’s grace to man. I offer a sampling of their addresses to the Almighty:

Three in One, One in Three, God of My Salvation

O Supreme Moving Cause

O Fountain of All Good

Thou Incomprehensible but Prayer-Hearing God

Giver of All

Thou Great I Am

Sovereign Commander of the Universe

O Changeless God

I didn’t have to read too many openings before I decided to be more purposeful and thoughtful in my prayers. Why shouldn’t I see to call to my Lord with even a portion of the diversity and beauty as each snowflake God creates. Here’s to new beginnings.


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