Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sweet Hour of Prayer

 Sweet Hour of Prayer
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, that calls me from a world of care, and bids me at my Father's throne make all my wants and wishes known! In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief, and oft escaped the tempter's snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, thy wings shall my petition bear to him whose truth and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless: And since he bids me seek his face, believe his word and trust his grace, I'll cast on him my ev'ry care, and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, may I thy consolation share, till, from Mount Pisgah's lofty height, I view my home and take my flight: This robe of flesh I'll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize; And shout, while passing thro' the air, "Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!"
The information we have about the author of this hymn has not come from the author himself, but from a friend to whom the poem was dictated. In 1842, in the town of Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, Reverend Thomas Salmon stopped by a small trinket shop to visit with his friend, William Walford. William, who's eyesight was almost gone, was 70 years old. Nevertheless, he ran the tiny shop where he sold small carvings and engraved items. 
On this particular day, Walford asked his friend to copy down the verses to a prayer-poem he had been composing in his head. Salmon took pen and paper and wrote the words to the gospel hymn "Sweet Hour of Prayer." Thomas Salmon was so impressed with Walford's poem that he made a second copy of it for himself and put it away in his notes and papers. 
Three years later, Salmon traveled to the United States; while in New York City, he sent Walford's poem to the editor of the New York Observer. The editor was so impressed with the prayer-poem that he published it in the September 13, 1845, issue of his paper. The possibility of the poem becoming a hymn was appreciated by the compilers of a Baptist Hymnal in 1859, and they included it in a book entitled Church Melodies. But it wasn't until William Bradbury, who was a composer of gospel music, set the words to music in 1861.  William Bradbury published 60 songbooks containing the melodies for the following favorites: "Jesus Love Me," "Just As I Am," "My Hope Is Built on Nothing Else," "He Leadeth Me," and "Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us." 
"Sweet Hour Of Prayer" was the result of international co-operation: a blind poet and his pastor friend in England who shared their work with a newspaper editor and a composer in New York. This hymn has encouraged faith  on both sides of the Atlantic for over 140 years, proving once more that the power of prayer is not limited by political or geographical boundaries.
I hope all of you have a good and godly week, for what good is a good week if it is not also a godly week?
 In the love of Christ,
Ashley

Philippians 4:6  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful song, I have it in a draft for a future post! Enjoyed the history, thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  2. Ashley, such gorgeous pictures and encouraging words! One of my favorite hymns is "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less".

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    1. Thank you! I shall write about that great hymn next Sunday for you. :)

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  3. Beautiful post. The pictures are beautiful and I love the song and have sung it many times. Thanks so much for sharing these with us. Hugs

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  4. Hi Ashley, just wanted to let you know I appreciate your blog, and was wondering if you might do me a favor and write about the hymn under his wings,with love Daddy.

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    1. Dearest Daddy,
      I would love to write about Under His Wings for you. :) I thank you for leaving a comment...it made my day. :)
      So much love,
      Ashley

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  5. Oh this song is one of my favorites! I loved the pictures you shared with this wonderful hymn, and the history behind it too! What a wonderful thing you are doing, sharing this history with us of the old and loved hymns Ashley. Appreciate you and your wonderful blog! Have a blessed day :)

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  6. OH, the dear, sweet hour of prayer! This song is another one of my favorites, and it has sustained me through many a hard trial. I think one of the saddest parts of leaving this life will be to "shout while passing through the air, farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer", for I have spent so many precious hours in this life at His feet. But, then I think that when I bid the sweet hour of prayer good-bye in this life, I will be eternally at His feet, in person, and there will be no further need for prayer! Oh, the glory that will fill our hearts on that day when we finally see Him face to face! This is but a foretaste of "glory divine"...just a glimpse into what it will be like to commune with Him for eternity. Thank you ever so much for the time and energy and effort you put into these wonderful, edifying posts! May I ask you to do another of my very favorite songs? I am not sure if you have already done this one before I started following you, but one of my top five favorite hymns is "Come Thou Fount". If you haven't done it already, and you feel led to, would you kindly do that one for me?

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    1. Dear Mrs. Smith,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comments. How they brightened my day! :) I would love to write about "Come Thou Fount". I love that song as well. :)
      May Christ be the center of your day!
      Sending you much love,
      Ashley

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