Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hymn for Sunday - O for a heart to praise my God

I hate to admit it, but I have always sold this hymn short. I think it's because I've always heard it sung to the same tune as "O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing" (which I heard first and more often) that I have considered it something of an also-ran.

But recently, there's been a personal reason to reconsider it. As I am beginning to see ever more clearly God's teaching on the importance of the heart throughout Scripture, the lyrics of this hymn are transformed from a set of disembodied words to a personal prayer.

O for a heart to praise my God

Words: Charles Wesley, 1742
Music: Stockton, Song 67, Holy Cross, Wetherby, Kilmarnock
Meter: CM

O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer's throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite, heart,
believing, true and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from him that dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of thine.

My heart, thou know'st, can never rest
till thou create my peace;
till of mine Eden repossessed,
from self, and sin, I cease.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new, best name of Love.

(Taken from an entry located at the Oremus Hymnal. This work is in the public domain.)

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