Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright

Full Text

1 Lord, teach us how to pray aright
with reverence and with fear;
though dust and ashes in thy sight,
we may, we must, draw near.

2 We perish if we cease from prayer:
O grant us power to pray;
and, when to meet thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us by the way.

3 God of all grace, we bring to thee
a broken, contrite heart;
give what thine eye delights to see,
truth in the inward part;

4 Faith in the only sacrifice
that can for sin atone,
to cast our hopes, to fix our eyes,
on Christ, on Christ alone;

5 Patience to watch and wait and weep,
though mercy long delay;
courage our fainting souls to keep,
and trust thee though thou slay.

6 Give these, and then thy will be done;
thus, strengthened with all might,
we, through thy Spirit and thy Son,
shall pray, and pray aright.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #129

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >


Lord, teach us how to pray aright. J. Montgomery. [Praye.] Written in 1818, and first printed on a broadsheet with Montgomery's "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire;“ “What shall we ask of God in prayer?" and "Thou, God, art a consuming fire ;" for use in the Nonconformist Sunday Schools in Shef¬field. In Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed., 1819, No. 280, it was repeated in full in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed, "The preparations of the heart in man." During the same year it was given, with alterations and the omission of stanza ii., in E. Bickersteth's Treatise on Prayer. In Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 482, the text in Bickersteth was repeated, with the restoration of stanza ii., and divided into 8 stanzas of 4 lines The text in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 65, is that of the Christian Psalter, 1825, with the change of stanza iv., lines. 1, 2, from:—

"God of all Grace, we come to Thee
With broken, contrite hearts";
"God of all grace, we bring to Thee
A broken, contrite heart."

This change is set down in the margin of Montgomery's private copy of the Christian Psalmist in his own handwriting. This hymn, in full or abridged, is in numerous collections. The variations of text which are found have arisen in a great measure from some editors copying from Cotterill's Selection of 1819, and others from the Christian Psalmist of 1825. The first is the original, and the second (with the above correction in Original Hymns 1853) is the authorized text. In some American Unitarian collections, including A Book of Hymns, 1848; and the Hymn [and Tune] Book for the Church and the Home, &c, 1868, a hymn beginning, "God of all grace, we come to Thee," is given from this, and opens with stanza iv.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 19 of 19)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #179
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #129Text
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #412Text
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #619
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #545Text
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #98Page Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #427
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #382TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #745TextPage Scan
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #227
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #367Text
Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #478
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #316
Moravian Book of Worship #750TextPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #261Text
Small Church Music #4901Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #4066TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #406TextPage Scan
The Worshiping Church #628Text
Include 161 pre-1979 instances