O God of Every Nation

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The biblical concept of “God of the Nations” can be found referenced in such passages as Psalm 47, Isaiah 56:4-8, Daniel 4:34-37; Malachi 1:11, Ephesians 2:11-18 and Revelation 7:9-17.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Any song or testimony about the cries that comes from our nations and cities must be met with confessional statements about the mission of the church as listed here.


Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 41-43 are explicit and pointed about the mission of the church: “In a world estranged from God, where happiness and peace are offered in many names and millions face confusing choices, we witness—with respect for followers of other ways—to the only one in whose name salvation is found: Jesus Christ.”


Later, Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 52-54 point to the task of the church in seeking public justice and functioning as a peacemaker: “We call on our governments to work for peace and to restore just relationships. We deplore the spread of weapons in our world and on our streets with the risks they bring and the horrors they threaten…”


The Belhar Confession, section 3 calls the church to be a peacemaker, and section 4 calls the church “to bring about justice and true peace.”


Our Song of Hope, stanza 10 calls the church to seek “the welfare of the people” and to work “against inhuman oppression of humanity.”


O God of Every Nation


I believe that God,
because of Christ’s satisfaction,
will no longer remember
any of my sins
or my sinful nature
which I need to struggle against all my life.
Rather, by grace
God grants me the righteousness of Christ
to free me forever from judgment.
—Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 56
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O God of Every Nation

Tune Information

f minor
Meter D



O God of Every Nation

Hymn Story/Background

This text was William W. Reid’s winning submission to a hymn search conducted by the Hymn Society in conjunction with the Fifth World Order Conference of the National Council of Churches. It is a fervent prayer for shalom throughout God’s world, set to a fine traditional Welsh ballad tune that became a hymn tune in a Baptist hymnal in 1865. Try singing the 4th stanza in major.
LLANGLOFFAN is a Welsh carol or ballad tune, which appeared as a hymn tune in Llwybrau Moliant (The Paths of Praise). That collection of tunes for use by Baptists was edited by Lewis Jones and published in Wrexham in 1872. LLANGLOFFAN is named for a town in Glamorgan, Wales, at one time presumably the location of a church that honored St. Cloffan.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

William W. Reid (b. New York City, New York, 1923; d. 2007) was a Methodist minister serving congregations in Camptown, Pennsylvania (1950-1957); Carverton (near Wyoming), Pennsylvania (1957-1967); and the Central United Methodist Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1967-1978), where he wrote this text. In 1978 he was appointed superintendent of the Wilkes-Barre district of the Methodist Church. Reid received his education at Oberlin College in Ohio, where he concentrated in botany. He served in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II and survived imprisonment in a German prison camp. The recipient of a divinity degree from the Yale Divinity School, Reid was inspired to write hymns by his father, the founder and first executive secretary of the Hymn Society. A number of Reid's hymns were published in pamphlets issued by the Hymn Society in 1955, 1958, and 1959.
— Bert Polman
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