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 (1838–1876)

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.