It has been said that, when we sing, we pray twice. Our songs offer a full expression of worship—words and music lifted in praise and adoration to God. As we sing, we proclaim truth about God and ourselves, often without truly considering what it is we are singing. Several years ago, this became even more clear to me. On a Sunday morning, my colleague, Jack Couch, delivered an opening prayer that deeply moved me. With his permission, I am sharing this prayer with you. May these familiar hymn texts allow you to pray in a new way, and may your heart sing praise to God! Soli Deo Gloria, Tim
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty. Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three persons, blessed Trinity! Come, thou Almighty King, help us thy name to sing, help us to praise: Father, all glorious, o’er all victorious, come and reign over us, Ancient of Days.
And when I think that God, his Son not sparing, sent him to die, I scarce can take it in, that on the cross my burdens gladly bearing, he bled and died to take away my sin. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! Little ones to him belong: they are weak, but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!
All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give; I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. Living for Jesus through earth’s little while, my dearest treasure—the light of his smile, seeking the lost ones he died to redeem, bringing the weary to find rest in him.
Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul through me; and may I bravely do my part to win that soul for Thee. O how he loves you and me, O how he loves you and me; he gave his life—what more could he give? O how he loves you, O how he loves me, O how he loves you and me!
Let your heart be broken for a world in need—feed the mouths that hunger, soothe the wounds that bleed; give the cup of water and the loaf of bread – be the hand of Jesus, serving in his stead. We are travelers on a journey, fellow pilgrims on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mail and bear the load. I will hold the Christ-light for you in the night time of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you. Speak the peace you long to hear.
When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.” Let us then be true and faithful, trusting, serving every day; just one glimpse of him in glory will the toils of life repay. But until then my heart will go on singing until then with joy I’ll carry on—until the day my eyes behold the city, until the day God calls me home.
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home. Hear our prayer, O Lord, hear our prayer, O Lord; incline Thine ear to us and grant us thy peace.