We’ve had a heavy year as a church with various members and regular attenders battling illness and losing loved ones. One effect of this is to have a hunger or anticipation of heaven. I love the prayer from the Valley of Vision entitled Heaven Desired. Let these words be your heart and prayer as you comfort those facing these afflictions and seek to speak to your own heart about these matters.
O My Lord,
May I arrive where means of grace cease and I need no more to fast, pray, weep, watch, be tempted, attend preaching and sacrament;
where nothing defiles,
where is no grief, sorrow, sin, death, separation, tears, pale face, languid body, aching joints, feeble infancy, decrepit age, peccant humors, pining sickness, griping fears, consuming cares;
where the more perfect the sight the more beautiful the object,
the more perfect the appetite the sweeter the food,
the more musical the ear the more pleasant the melody,
the more complete the soul the more happy its joys,
where is full knowledge of thee.
Here I am an ant, and as I view a nest of ants so dost thou view me and my fellow-creatures
But as an ant knows not me, my nature, my thoughts, so here I cannot know thee clearly.
But there I shall be near thee,
dwell with my family,
stand in thy presence chamber,
be an heir of thy kingdom,
as the spouse of Christ,
as a member of his body,
one with him who is with thee,
and exercise all my powers of body and soul in the enjoyment of thee.
As praise in the mouth of thy saints is comely,
so teach me to exercise this divine gift,
when I pray, read, hear, see, do,
in the presence of people and of my enemies,
as I hope to praise thee eternally hereafter.