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Sweet Hour of Prayer
Acts 3:1
SWEET HOUR  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: William W. Walford, 1772-1850
Musician: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

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,
The joy I feel, the bliss I share
With those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God, my Saviour, shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, 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.



HYMN HISTORY:

In Lord Tennyson's poem 'Morte D'Arthur' there's a line which reads: 'More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.'

Certainly, nothing is accomplished in the Lord's work without prayer. It is the very life of it.

How much we need to pray, and yet, must we not confess- how little we do pray? I suppose then, every encouragement of prayer is valuable, even essential. This hymn is just that.

William Walford of Coleshill, England was a wood-carver by trade and the owner of a small trinket shop. He was also a devout Christian and often the guest preacher in the churches around the area where he lived.

One day, in 1842, the Reverend Thomas Salmon, a congregational minister, made his customary call at the shop of a friend. On this occasion, instead of showing the minister his beautiful collection of hand carved ornaments, Walford asked Mr. Salmon to write down the words of a poem he had just completed.

The first verse went like this:-

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

Three years later the Reverend Salmon was in New York city and, while there, took the old wood-carver's poem along to the editor of the New York Observer, As a result, Sweet Hour Of Prayer appeared in the issue for September 1845.

Nothing happened for another fourteen years. Then the famous composer, William Bradbury, set the poem to music and turned it into one of the most famous hymns of all time.

Lifted on the wings of Bradbury's beautiful melody the words soon sped around the globe and in a short time were being sung by millions.

I mentioned earlier that William Walford had asked the minister to write down the words of his poem for him. The simple reason for this was that Walford himself was blind - he couldn't see to write.

He wasn't blind spiritually though. The eyes of his soul could see perfectly clearly. It took a rate insight to write such a meaningful and blessed sacred song as this.

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer
Thy wings shall my petitbn 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 every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!


BIBLE PASSAGE:

1 ¶ Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.




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