A Monday Prayer

After my reading this morning from Daniel 12 and Psalm 119:48-72, and praying a prayer from The Valley of Vision, with no obvious connection to the previous, my mind latched on to the lyrics of a 200 year old hymn, Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.

The line that surfaced was Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move. The seemingly random lyrics were imprinted from repeated exposure when I was a child, but suddenly took on fresh urgency. I had to look up this hymn and remember the other lyrics. It was all familiar except for the second stanza, an essential part of the whole.

I commend this hymn to you.  Pray it aloud (sing it if you know the tune) and ask God to graciously imprint the meaning on your heart.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Lyrics by George Cro­ly, Psalms and Hymns for Pub­lic Wor­ship (Lon­don: 1854).  Croly was born Au­gust 17, 1780 in Dub­lin, Ire­land and died No­vem­ber 24, 1860 in Hol­born, Eng­land. Cyber Hymnal   Note that he was 74 years old when he penned these words, acknowledging even at that age that his heart still needed to be weaned from a dependence on this world.

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