Wednesday, June 02, 2010

extending the playlist: prayer-full

A recent post revisited this vexed area of what we sing as part of our worship of God.

I tried to make a case for re-introducing some hymns into the playlist of the contemporary church. Outside of a well-worn 3 or 4 (Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, Great is Thy Faithfulness...) - we do not sing hymns any more.

I thought that I might post a few possibilities. So, here goes... ten prayer-full ones and ten praise-full ones. I trawled the hymnbook of my NZ Baptist tradition (others will have other traditions) and found some that I'd love to see added to the playlist. Just one from among these 20 each Sunday would be about right, I reckon. With an enthusiastic lead from the 'worship-leader' (so none of this drag-your-feet 'the pastor made me do it' body language), these all have possibilities. I'd put the prayer-full ones at a more reflective time and the praise-full ones at a more buoyant time. Check with an older musician in the church on the possible tunes and amp them up a bit if you need to. But don't play them too quickly! You will discover that they connect people with a deeper, richer spirituality.

I will name the first line of the hymn (in bold) and then include a verse (in italics) that stands out to me - so you catch something of the flavour. OK?!

1. Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Til all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.


2. O Love that wilt not let me go
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.


3. O Jesus, I have promised
O let me hear Thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will;
O speak to reassure me,
To hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen,
Thou guardian of my soul.


4. I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus
I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.


5. We have not known Thee as we ought
We have not loved Thee as we ought,
Nor cared that we are loved by Thee:
Thy presence we have coldly sought,
And feebly longed Thy face to see:
Lord, give a pure and loving heart
To feel and know the love Thou art.


6. O My Saviour, lifted from the earth for me
Bringing all my burdens,
Sorrow, sin, and care,
At Thy feet I lay them,
And I leave them there.


7. Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.


8. Take my life, and let it be
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store:
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.


9. In heavenly love abiding
Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where dark the clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free,
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.`


10. O For a closer walk with God
Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and His word?


nice chatting - and be glad you can't hear me singing

Paul

3 comments:

J Phillips said...

haha
Last night at dinner, Sharri, 18, officially an unbeliever "how come they changed the music to Amazing Grace, it was so beautiful". Shem, (skaterboy), 15, "Yeah, how come we don't sing hymns at our church? like even just 1 a week?"
Great list, a couple of other personal favorites: the auld 100th & O sacred head (goes right back to Bernard of Clairvaux).

Paul Windsor said...

O Sacred Head was #11 - sitting on my paper in front of me as I type ... "Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee".

I knew I should have stuck with my love of cricket and gone for a First XI, rather than a Top Ten!

Thanks, John

Quaerentia said...

What about a top 20...?!
Glad you got some of my hero William Cowper in there. I would also add
- God Moves In a Mysterious Way
- Sometimes a Light Surprises
posted in relation to Habakkuk 3 (http://markmeynell.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/william-cowper-habakkuk/)
see you soon!