We sang this hymn this past Sunday. I love these words. I can’t sing it without tears. It was written by George Croly in 1854 and arranged by our church’s worship leader Karl Digerness in 2006. Listen to it here. (And if you like it, you should buy Karl’s new cd here.)
I won’t talk about why it’s wonderful. Except to say that the image of God weaning my heart from the earth is incredibly powerful. And for God to check my rising doubt, my rebel sigh? Oh, beautiful words. Sometimes I just need some guy named George from the 19th century to write my prayers for me.
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
and make me love Thee as I ought to love.
I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel vision, no opening skies;
but take the dimness of my soul away.
Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see the cross, there teach me to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!
Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The presence of Thy descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.