Scripture Verse

Without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14


Words: Phi­lip P. Bliss, Sun­shine for Sun­day Schools (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio & Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois: John Church & George F. Root and Sons, 1873), num­ber 15.

Music: Cal­vat Phi­lip P. Bliss, Sun­shine for Sun­day Schools, 1873 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Philip P. Bliss

This hymn, per­haps one of the most beau­ti­ful of all his com­po­si­tions, was writ­ten by Mr. Bliss, 1873, af­ter he had giv­en up his mus­ic­al con­ven­tion work en­tire­ly and en­tered ful­ly up­on his life­work for the Mas­ter. It seems that it was on­ly af­ter he had giv­en up ev­ery­thing and com­mitted him­self and all his gifts to the Lord’s ser­vice, that he was en­a­bled to write such a hymn as this.

Bliss called the hymn My Pray­er, but thou­sands in ev­ery Chris­tian land have made it their pray­er as well, and it will con­tin­ue to voice a heart­felt want of mil­lions in years to come.

The hymn was a spe­cial fa­vor­ite with Mr. Moo­dy, and was of­ten quot­ed by him as a hymn that would live in the church of God, while the child­ren of God con­tin­ue to call up­on his name in pray­er.

Mr. Bliss was at the time of his death a mem­ber of the First Con­gre­ga­tion­al Church of Chi­ca­go. The pas­tor, the Rev. Dr. E. P. Good­win, in an ad­dress on the death of Mr. and Mrs. Bliss, re­ferred to the sing­ing of this hymn as follows: On one of the last oc­ca­sions when he was with us, on a fly­ing vis­it to our ci­ty, made dur­ing his work as an ev­an­gel­ist, he came in late one ev­en­ing and sat at the rear of the church. Es­py­ing him, I called him for­ward to sing the hymn, ‘My Pray­er.’ He struck the keys on the pi­ano, stooped for­ward, and read­ing the words in the lat­ter part of the first verse, More joy in his ser­vice, said I do not think I can sing that as a pray­er any more; it seems to me that I have as much joy in serv­ing the bless­ed Mas­ter as it is pos­si­ble for me to bear.

Sankey, pp. 331–32


More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Sav­ior, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glo­ry, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I’d be,
More blessèd and holy, more, Sav­ior, like Thee.