Deep Within

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is vitally important that worshipers understand the role of God’s law among us. God gives his law to us, not so that we can earn his favor by full obedience, for even those converted to God cannot obey this law perfectly. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114 says, “In this life even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience.” Instead, says Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2, Question and Answer 3, through this law “we come to know [our] misery.” 


Yet in their new life of gratitude, God’s children “with all seriousness of purpose, do begin to live according to all, not only some, of God’s commandments” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114). They measure their good works of gratitude as “those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law, and are done for God’s glory” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 91). 


In other words, though Christ has fulfilled the law for us, “The truth and substance of these things remain for us in Jesus Christ…[and] we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God according to the will of God” (Belgic Confession, Article 25). Therefore, the Ten Commandments with explanation are included in the third section, “gratitude,” (Lord’s Days 34-44) of Heidelberg Catechism.


Deep Within


Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
In Christ, we are forgiven!
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
—based on Joel 2:13; 2 Corinthians 9:15, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for God to Plant in Our Hearts
O God, we know your words, precepts, commandments, and laws. We know them and then we do what we want. We need your law in our sinew, and bone, and marrow. We need to be people who not only don’t disobey you, but who wouldn’t disobey you, wouldn’t even think of disobeying you. So plant your law in our hearts, O God. Plant it deep within so that its growth becomes the measure of our own. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Deep Within

Tune Information

G Major
refrain stanzas irregular



Deep Within

Hymn Story/Background

David Haas took three Old Testament prophetic passages from Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Joel for the text of this song, originally composed as a Lenten anthem [published by GIA Publications (G-3338)]. The text is unusual in that in each of these prophetic passages our covenant God is the one speaking—all the texts are quotations. Therefore this song is not a one of prayer or response to God, but a proclamation inviting us, like the ancient people of Israel, to respond to God’s gracious call to “Return to me,” “follow me,” and “you will be my own, and I will be your God.” Singing this song calls us to repentance that leads to rich blessing that God promises, and God’s promises are always trustworthy and true. This song can then be followed with a response of prayer and dedication. Because this call comes directly from God’s Word, it would be very appropriate for a choir, cantor or soloist to begin and sing the stanzas, with everyone joining on the refrain each time. But it would also be a wonderful way for the entire congregation to sing it all together, taking God’s call and promises into our own hearts, “deep within,” as we also proclaim this invitation and these promises to our neighbors and to the whole world.
— Emily Brink

Author and Composer Information

David Haas (b. Bridgeport, Michigan, 1957) resides in Eagan, Minnesota, where he is director of The Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry and serves as campus minister at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota where he also directs the CDH Liturgical Choir.

Highly regarded as one of the preeminent liturgical music composers in the English-speaking world, he has produced more than 45 collections of original music. His liturgical works are sung and prayed throughout the world and appear in hymnals of many Christian denominations and in many languages.

David’s newest projects with GIA Publications, Inc. include A Changed Heart, Your Call Is Constant (a book of prayers and reflections), and Mass for A New World. Other recent projects with GIA Publications, Inc. include Living Spirit, Holy Fire; God Is Here, and Reach Toward Heaven. His live recording and video “Glory Day” continues to receive international acclaim, and he has served as a consultant for the various editions of the popular GIA Publications, Inc. hymnals Gather and Gather Comprehensive.

— GIA Publications, Inc. (http://www.giamusic.com)

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