Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Morning Prayer

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.*

Your word is a lantern to my feet
and a light upon my path.
I have sworn and am determined
to keep your righteous judgments.
I am deeply troubled;
preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.
Accept, O LORD, the willing tribute of my lips,
and teach me your judgments.
My life is always in my hand,
yet I do not forget your law.
-- Psalm 119:105-109

Lord God,
you know that I have no power in myself
I cannot truly rescue myself from that which has captured me;
Protect me and defend me
both within and without
that I may be held safe from all which may happen to my body,
that I may be held strong from and from all that may assault and hurt my soul;
May I say with truth and integrity that
It is well with my soul.

Guide me in all that I do;
Make your will, my will.
Pour your favor on me
and keep the sweetness of your eternal Word
on my lips. Cool my fevered spirit with the gentleness of your Spirit.

I pray for those whose names lay heavy on my heart today;
Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors;
Comfort the suffering, soothe the ill, keep safe those who labor for you.

In the name of your Son I pray,

*This hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford’s life. The first was the great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him finan­cially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford’s daughters died in a collision with anther ship. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Several weeks later, as Spafford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, the Holy Spir it inspired these words. They speak to the eternal hope that all believers have, no matter what pain and grief be fall them on earth. The tune is named after the ship on which Spafford’s children perished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss himself died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

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