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Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit

Full Text

1 Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit!
How I need your help divine!
In the way of life eternal,
keep, O keep this heart of mine.

Refrain:
Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit,
gracious Teacher, Friend divine!
For the kingdom work that calls me,
O prepare this heart of mine.

2 Grant to me your sacred presence;
then my faith will ne'er decline.
Comfort me and help me onward;
fill with love this heart of mine. [Refrain]

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Patterned after Psalm 51:10-12, "Dwell in Me" is a prayer that the Spirit keep us "in the way of life eternal" (st. 1), comfort us, and prod us on to service (st. 2). The refrain sends us out of the church into the kingdom.

 

Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Canons of Dort V, 13 explain that our assurance of eternal security and perseverance cannot “produce immorality or lack of concern for godliness in those put back on their feet after a fall, but it produces a much greater concern to observe carefully the way which the Lord prepared in advance” and it is “an incentive to a serious and continuous practice of thanksgiving and good works...” (Canons of Dort V, 12) Therefore, this sub-section contains songs which express both the desire and the commitment of the believer to walk in obedience for holy living. Woven throughout these songs are expressions of fervent desire for holy living, a dedication to follow God’s will, a surrender of one’s will, and prayers for the Holy Spirit to continue his sanctifying work.

745

Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for Indwelling
Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit. Dismiss my other spirits and dwell in me. Clean the house of my soul and dwell in me. Fill me, move me, inspire me. Dwell in me, O blessed Spirit. How I need your help divine! I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
745

Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit

Tune Information

Name
DWELL IN ME
Key
C Major
Meter
8.7.8.7 D
745

Dwell in Me, O Blessed Spirit

Hymn Story/Background

The writer of this text is listed as Martha J. Lankton, one of the many pseudonyms used by Fanny J. Crosby. The hymn was first published in the Sunday School Hymnal (1899) of the Reformed Church in the U.S.A. In 1941 it was published in the Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
 
Though it appears now in virtually no other hymnal, this hymn is beloved in the Christian Reformed Church and has appeared in every edition of the Psalter Hymnal. For the 1987 edition the original stanza 2 was deleted, and the final line of the refrain was changed from "For the home of bliss that waits me" to "For the kingdom work that calls me."
 
Patterned after Psalm 51:10-12, "Dwell in Me" is a prayer that the Spirit keep us "in the way of life eternal" (st. 1), comfort us, and prod us on to service (st. 2). The refrain sends us out of the church into the kingdom.
 
Composed by Georgia Guiney Berky, DWELL IN ME is a gospel tune in verse/refrain pattern with a simple harmonization. Sing in harmony with a gentle legato accompaniment suitable for this prayer. Maintain a moderate tempo.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Fanny (Francis) Jane Crosby (b. Brewster, New York, March 24, 1820; d. Bridgeport, Conneticut, February 12, 1915) attended the New York City School for the Blind, where she later became a teacher. She began writing poetry when she was eight and publishing several volumes, such as A Blind Girl, and Other Poems (1844). Married to musician Alexander Van Alstyne, who was also blind, Crosby began writing hymn texts when she was in her forties. She published at least eight thousand hymns (some under various pseudonyms); at times she was under contract to her publisher to write three hymns a week and often wrote six or seven a day. Crosby's texts were set to music by prominent gospel song composers such as William B. Bradbury, William H. Doane, Robert S. Lowry, Ira D. Sankey, and William J. Kirkpatrick. Her hymns were distributed widely and popularized at evangelistic services in both America and Great Britain. Crosby was one of the most respected women of her era and the friend of many prominent persons, including presidents of the United States.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

There is virtually no information available about Georgia Guiney Berky (nineteenth century) other than that she was married to A. G. Berky and is thought to have been a member of the Reformed Church in the United States.
 
— Emily Brink
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