Surprise! I am enjoying poetry as prayer. Poetry is usually too flowery for me, but this poem is practical and straightforward. Except for the ‘thee and thou’ language, it expresses my heart. I invite you to read the following poem slowly as though it were your personal prayer to God:
Oh Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end;
Be thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend:
I shall not fear the battle if thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if thou wilt be my guide.
O let me feel thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin.
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.
O Jesus, thou hast promised to all who follow thee
That where thou art in glory there shall thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend.
-John E. Bode
Do you recognize the hymn?
Slowly reading the words without accompanying music helps me express my deep desire to serve God well. (Unlike me, you can probably sing and pray at the same time.) I beg for His presence to provide strength to face temptation. I need a clear encouraging and correcting voice in order to stay on His path. I need His grace.
Reading a hymn as a personal prayer helps me express my heart to God. (tweet this)
Does reading or singing feel more personal for you?
#SeedsofScripture #hymns #prayer