Sundays After Pentecost
Prayer Changes Things
|God Comforts Job;
Faithful to the End
|505: When Our Confidence
507: Through it All
358: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
130: God Will Take Care of You
500 Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart
523 Saranam, Saranam
377: It is Well With My Soul
348: Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling
337 Only Trust Him
694 Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
519 Lift Every Voice and Sing
|God Answers the Prayers of the Afflicted;
The Joy of Deliverance;
From Weeping to Shouts of Joy
|Psalter 769, resp. 1
129 Give to the Winds Thy Fears
130 God Will Take Care of You
498 My Prayer Rises to Heaven
Psalter 847 resp. 2
126 Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
416 Come Out the Wilderness
383 This is The Day of New Beginnings
394 Something Beautiful
|Mark 10:46-52||Prayer for Mercy Answered;
Jesus Meets the Needs of the Most Wretched
As I Am
351 Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
378 Amazing Grace
340 Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Jesus: Our Intercessor
Thou Once Despised Jesus
622 There is a Fountain
166 All Praise to Thee, for Thou, O King Divine
170 O How I Love Jesus
Here's a well-known hymn by an obscure author. And perhaps that is the way it should be: the genesis of a hymn about the spiritual mysteries of prayer is itself shrounded in mystery.
Rev. Thomas Salmon (1800-1854) claims that he met William W. Walford, a blind preacher, of obscure birth and connections, without education, but with a keen mind, particularly apt at memorizing and quoting entire portions of Scripture. During a visit to him, Walford supposedly dictated the words of this hymn to Salmon, who submitted it for publication.
True, it is usually attributed to Walford, but hymnologists have never found "a blind preacher" by that exact name, living at the period of time the hymn is said to have been writen, in the village where it is said he lived and preached. The confusion over the identity of the poet has resulted in this hymn even being wrongly attributed to Fanny Crosby in times past.
William Batchelder Bradbury, the composer of the hymn tune, wrote it specifically for the text in 1861.
The hymn entered Methodist Hymnals in 1878, 1882, and 1889 with stanzas 1,3, and 4. In the 1935 Hymnal stanza 4 was dropped and stanza 2 was added in its place. This is the arrangement in the current United Methodist hymnal as well.
1. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! |
that calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father's throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter's snare
by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
2. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! |
the joys I feel, the bliss I share
of those whose anxious spirits burn
with strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
where God my Savior shows his face,
and gladly take my station there,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
The omitted 4th stanza is still sung in many faith communities:
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer |
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah's lofty height,
I view my home, and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
Contributed by Rev. Linda K. Morgan-Clark
Job: See Index listing "Comfort" p.939; see also Hymns 451-508 (Prayer,
Trust and Hope)
Jeremiah: See Hymns 337-350 (Invitation)
Psalm 34: See Job above
Psalm 126: See Index listing, "Joy" p.946
See Index listing, "Presence" p.946; see also Hymns 337-350 (Invitation)
See Index listing, "Atonement" p. 944; see also Hymns 153-195 (In Praise of Christ)
God bless you!
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|