For Your Gift of God the Spirit

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

If "Veni, Creator Spiritus" (425 and 426) is the classic prayer text to the Holy Spirit, "For Your Gift" is the best teaching text on the Holy Spirit. Inspired by biblical passages about the work of the Spirit in creation, the church, and our personal lives, this text reads like a study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It is a splendid example of sung theology, which brings our heart's confession onto our lips.


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Our coming together is not first of all an action of our own initiative, but is of God’s initiative. He does the gathering. The Confessions are careful to use terminology that identifies God’s gathering action. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 21, Question and Answer 54 says, “The Son of God through his Spirit and Word…gathers...” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 30 testifies “The Spirit gathers people…into the unity of the body of Christ.” The Belhar Confession, Section 1 refers to the Trinity. “…The triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…gathers, protects and cares for the church through Word and Spirit.”


We celebrate with joy that Christ has come to rescue us from sin and evil through the work of his son, Jesus Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 35 identifies the church as “the fellowship of those who confess Jesus as Lord…the bride of Christ…”


Belgic Confession, Article 21 professes how Jesus Christ is a high priest forever and provided for the cleansing of our sins; Article 10 proclaims him as the “true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship and serve.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 calls us to “live and die in the joy of this comfort” and “to thank God for such deliverance.”


In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”


For Your Gift of God the Spirit

Call to Worship

Holy, holy, holy God,
we worship and adore you—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Today in our worship we long for a glimpse of your glory,
seen perfectly in Christ, our Lord.
As we worship, may we gain new insight
about the mystery and wonder of your love.
And may we sense new ways to mirror that love in our world,
through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

God, our Father, you made us, you love us,
and you invite us to be in community with you.
Jesus, you rescued us, you made us holy,
and you enabled us to be in community.
Holy Spirit, you inspired these words of Scripture,
you guide the words of the message, and you transform us.
Triune God, thank you for your Word to us.
May it deepen our faith, comfort us, and challenge us
so that we may grow in our love for you and each other.
In the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Holy Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
send your Holy Spirit to awaken us.
Send your grace to forgive us,
your truth to instruct us,
your mercy to relieve us.
Holy Father, you created the world
through your mediating Son and brooding Spirit.
Lord Jesus Christ, on the Father’s mission
you redeemed the world your Father loves.
Holy Spirit of Father and Son,
you blew power into the church and sent her out to the world.
Majestic God, triune from all ages,
brimming with life upon life in triplicate verve,
you poured out life to create, save, and inspire.
And so we worship and adore you. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on the cross for my salvation.
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the star-lit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
God’s ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward,
the Word of God to give me speech,
God’s heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, the One in Three,
of whom all nature has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ, the Lord. Amen.
[St. Patrick of Ireland (389-461), tr. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), alt.; this prayer is known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” as is the tune to which it is sung]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

For Your Gift of God the Spirit

Tune Information

D Major
Meter D


Musical Suggestion

Try singing the 4th stanza in major.
— Bert Polman

For Your Gift of God the Spirit

Hymn Story/Background

Margaret Clarkson wrote this text about the work of the Holy Spirit during the summer of 1959 at the Severn River, Ontario, Canada. Requested by Stacey Woods, General Secretary of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) in Canada and the United States, the text was first published in Anywhere Songs (IVCF songbook, 1960). Clarkson revised the text for use in IVCF's Hymns II in 1976 and made final revisions in 1984.
If "Veni, Creator Spiritus" is the classic prayer text to the Holy Spirit, "For Your Gift" is the best teaching text on the Holy Spirit. Inspired by biblical passages about the work of the Spirit in creation, the church, and our personal lives, this text reads like a study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It is a splendid example of sung theology, which brings our heart's confession onto our lips.
This is a great teaching hymn about the Holy Spirit. It’s an extended hymnic pneumatology (doctrine of the Holy Spirit) originally written for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Blessed with a distinguished climax, BLAENWERN comes to us from the last of the Welsh revival periods. 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Born in Saskatchewan, Margaret Clarkson (b. Saskatchewan, 1915; d. 2008) moved to Toronto in 1919, where she lived for much of her life. Educated at Toronto Teachers' College, she taught elementary school in Barwick, Ontario (1935-37), and was supervisor of public school music in Kirkland Lake, Ontario (1937-42). From 1942 to 1973 she taught in various elementary schools in Toronto. Clarkson published seventeen books, including The Creative Classroom (1958), Rivers Among the Rocks (1967), Destined for Glory: The Meaning of Suffering (1983), and All Nature Sings (1986). Her hymns were published in A Singing Heart: The Collected Hymns of Margaret Clarkson (1987). She was a strong supporter of IVCF and wrote a number of the theme hymns for their Urbana Mission Conferences. In 1993 Clarkson was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Darwin Jordan is a graduate of the University of Alabama (Bachelor of Music, Music Theory) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div).
He has been the Senior Pastor of Fort Worth Presbyterian Church since 2004, and has served for almost 30 years on the Board of Reformed Youth Ministries, a ministry to Jr. High and High School students and Youth Directors.
— Christian Counseling (http://christiancounseling.com/content/advisory-board)

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