Friday, 15 March 2013

Abide With Me

The Prayer of the Broken Heart

Great hymns often make great prayers.  The richness of the lyrics and, especially with the old ones, the realism and dependence on God they exhibit cry out to be turned to prayer.  Surely none more so than ‘Abide With Me’ by Henry Francis Lyte.  Written as he lay near death at a young age it cries out to God to never, ever leave, even in the face of death and the loss of all life’s pleasures.  It is a beautiful prayer of someone who has lost all his illusions about the treasures of this world and broken-hearted, cries out for the constant presence of the God who never leaves.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Father, abide with me.  Stay with me Lord as the evening grows ever closer.  Darkness deepens Lord, it threatens to overwhelm me.  Do not leave me now Father, not now when those I care more about have left me.  Do not leave me now when all the comforts and treasures of my life here on earth have vanished like the ebbing day.  Oh Father stay with me.  I am so helpless, so broken and weak Lord and yet You are the one who helps the helpless.  You are the one who gives grace to the humble.  I have been so greatly humbled Lord.  Give me grace I pray.  Abide with me.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wonderful Hymns

Singing God's Praise

There is a lot of music produced by the church today.  Most of it is rubbish, some of it is good.  I will blog on that some other time.  Discussing it with a friend recently though they asked for a list of my favourite hymns so for now though I just want to briefly look at what I consider to be important in a good hymn before looking specifically at some of my personal favourites.

1.    It is more focused on God than it is on me.  There is a reason why it is called a him and not a me (sorry, that pun was awful). But seriously, any hymn that puts more stress on me than God is no good.  Now that doesn’t mention it can’t mention me, my struggles, my feelings.  But I really do think it should mention God’s help and goodness more.  Ideally when I’m singing about myself it should be in relation to what God has done for me.