Sunday, December 2, 2012

{HSCRC12} Hymn #17, Sweet Hour of Prayer

Hymn Challenge #17: Sweet Hour of Prayer
Hymn Attributed to: William W. Walford
b. 1772; d. June 22, 1850

First, if you notice above, I state that this hymn is attributed to William W. Walford. Some hymnals I referenced showed "W. W. Walford" under the title of the hymn and some referenced "Attr. to William W. Walford." Be sure to check any hymnals you have or look next time you are at church. The true author of this hymn is actually unknown. Some say that Rev. Walford was a blind, English minister but here is what I found in "Then Sings My Soul Book 2" by Robert J. Morgan:

"No one, however, has ever found a trace of a blind preacher named W. W. Walford in Coleshill, England. There was a congregational minister named William Walford who wrote a book about prayer containing striking similarities to this poem, and some believe he was the author. But he was neither blind nor uneducated, and the authorship of this hymn remains a mystery."

We do know that the tune was composed by W. B. Bradbury in 1859. Interesting for sure!

Wednesday morning of this week as I woke up this hymn, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," popped into my head. I began singing it, and then I got on the computer and looked up all of the verses. I tried to just read the words without humming along. I was so touched by the words that I really felt we were to look at this hymn this week. So, let's begin by just looking at the words (try not to sing). LOL!

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 joys I feel, the bliss I share 
of those whose anxious spirits burn 
with strong desires for thy return! 
With such I hasten to the place 
where God my Savior 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 every care, 
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

So, what is prayer? Are you experiencing that 'sweet hour of prayer' each day? Prayer is communication with God (listening and speaking) and a way believers experience a relationship with Him. If you missed my post on prayer back in 2010, please click here. What does your prayer life look like? Jesus is our perfect example. He prayed privately, publically, and with his family. Prayer is mentioned in 51 of the 66 books of the Bible.

Look at that first verse of the hymn. How and when are you approaching the Father's throne? Do you have somewhere in your home where you can privately pray and talk to the Lord each day? Does your family know where that place is? Do they know it's your special, uninterrupted time each day? Are you escaping the tempters snare? If we are not consumed by Christ, we are easy prey for evil.


  • Is a place to get away from the world and be at the Father's throne.
  • It's the place we find relief and peace.
  • It's where we see His face.
  • It's where we share our petitions and cast our cares on Him.
Are you evermindful of what God is doing in your life? Are you seeking His face, believing His word, and trusting in His grace (verse 3)? When we seek Him daily for His guidance in our decisions and actions we make, we will reap long-term blessings. Are you trusting each day to Him? How do you know what to do next? Do you need direction? Talk to God. Have that sweet hour of prayer each day! I love how 1 Thessalonians 5:17 makes it so easy to understand:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray continually."

And Psalm 61:1 says "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer."

I also love another quote from the book by Robert J. Morgan I referenced above--"If an hour spent with the Lord is so sweet, why do we race through our day prayerless, then squeeze all our requests into a two-minute segment at bedtime? If prayer is so powerful, why do we neglect it so consistently?" Ouch! I pray that you will remember that daily time with God helps us know what He desires for us and it motivates us to obey Him.

Below you will find the sheet music to "Sweet Hour of Prayer." Also, be sure to check out the link I have below for you today.
Listen here to this beautiful hymn. If you have never seen this man sing, you should look at some of his other videos. Absolutely amazing!

For my 6x6 page today, I used the 1 Thessalonians 5:17 verse noted above. I just loved how simple it was—"pray continually." I used the prayer hands stamp from the ODBD set called "Lift Up Our Hands," and the sentiment  "Take Time to Pray" comes from the ODBD set called "Time." I used the Dusty Attic keyhole chipboard pieces to indicate that the "key" to growing in Christ is being in prayer.

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Papers: Pion Design Silent Night Guardian Angels, misc. cardstock 
Kit: some supplies taken from the C'est Magnifique Kit
Stamps: ODBD Lift Up Your Hands, ODBD Time
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink frayed burlap, SU early espresso
Embellishments: Dusty Attic mini keyholes and birds on a branch #2 chipboard, misc. brads, misc. flowers, sewing machine

Remember to use Keyword HSCRC12 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies, please see this post here. Blessings to each of you!


KayS said...

Patter, you tied this message together so beautifully ... thank you! I'm so very thankful that we can have an intimate relationship with our Lord through prayer. When has He ever not been there? NEVER. Have a beautiful day, blessings to you! Kay

Grace said...

Patter I love this hymn and your thoughts on it were a blessing to me today! Can't wait to see you Thursday!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this timely reminder of the riches of time alone with God. This coming month will surely be full of opportunities to overdo, overeat, undersleep, and (if we do not decide and plan otherwise)under-pray. "I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord!"

The last verse on the sheet music wasn't in your prose version---why is that? I'm intrigued by the possibility of saying "farewell" to prayer because once we're in heaven we'll see Jesus! Meanwhile, I pray for God to bless you and yours, as well as your cyber-followers! Take care---Jennifer in Ohio

Anonymous said...

The video of one man singing barbershop harmonies on this was lovely---and so was your page, which I neglected to mention!
Your peaceful color palette might have been dull in other hands, but I love what you put together. Thanks,
Patter. I appreciate you. Jennifer in Ohio

A-M said...

There are so many many wonderful old hymns and you have chosen such a good one for us this fortnight. The tune is one that sticks in your mind after singing it.
Your page is lovely... such nice images and embellishments you have used.
Thank you Patter - Bless You

Robyn said...

Hi Patter! I my be following you under two different emails addresses. One I had not been at for months and found all my missing notices from your sweet blog. So I signed in again under my only email I use! The hymn was on of my great grandmothers favorite ones. I can hear her singing as I read the words to all the verses! Thank you for sharing this moving post!

Susan M said...

This page is so beautiful Patter !Thanks for choosing this beautiful hymn and the lovely video.

NickelNook said...

Beautiful, as always! This is one of my favorites! I'm finally caught up on all my pages for 2012! Thanks very much!...Nancy :o)

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