Scripture Verse

He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12


Christopher Wordsworth (1807–1885)

Words: Chris­to­pher Words­worth, The Ho­ly Year (Lon­don: Riv­ing­tons, 1862), num­ber 107. In 1865, Words­worth add­ed the se­cond verse, which some hym­nals use as the op­en­ing stan­za of a cen­to.

Music: St. Pe­ters­burg at­trib­ut­ed to Dmi­tri S. Bort­ni­an­sky, 1825 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Dmitri S. Bortniansky (1752–1825)


O Lord, who in Thy love divine
Didst leave in Heav’n the ninety-nine,
With pity for a world undone,
And gav’st Thy life to save the one,
And didst it on Thy shoulders bear
In joy to Heav’n; O hear our prayer.

Thou who the night in prayer didst spend
And then didst Thine apostles send
And bidd’st us pray the harvest’s Lord
To send forth sowers of Thy Word,
Hear and Thy chosen servants bless
With sev’nfold gifts of holiness.

Look down, with gracious eye behold,
With watchful care protect Thy fold;
Secure from hireling shepherds keep,
Which feed themselves, and not the sheep,
And when the prowling wolf is nigh,
Forsake the flock in fear and fly.

O Thou, who didst at Pentecost
Send down from Heav’n the Holy Ghost
That He might with Thy Church abide
For ever, to defend and guide;
Illuminate Thy servants, Lord,
The preachers of Thy holy Word.

Oh, may Thy pastors faithful be,
Not laboring for themselves, but Thee;
Give grace to feed with wholesome food
Whom Thou hast purchased by Thy blood,
The sheep and lambs; and thus to prove
How dearly they the Shepherd love.

That which the holy Scriptures teach,
That, and that only, may they preach;
May they the true foundation lay,
Build gold thereon, not wood or hay;
And meekly preach, in days of strife,
The sermon of a holy life.

As ever in Thy holy eyes,
And stewards of Thy mysteries,
May they the people teach to see
Not, Lord, Thy ministers, but Thee;
To see a loving Sav­ior’s face
Revealed in all Thy means of grace.

May they Thy Word with boldness speak,
And bear with tenderness the weak;
Not seeking their own things as best,
But what may edify the rest;
With wisdom and simplicity
And, most of all, with clarity.

Oh, may Thy people loving be,
And in Thy pastors honor Thee,
And with them work, and for them pray,
And gladly Thee in them obey,
Receive the prophet of the Lord,
And gain the prophet’s own reward.

So may we, when our work is done,
Together stand before Thy throne;
And joyful hearts and voices raise
In one united song of praise,
With all the bright celestial host,
To Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost.