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Lord, I Pray

Full Text

1 Lord, I pray, if today
some should wrong or trouble me,
make me kind; bring to mind,
your forgiveness makes me free.

2 Should there be joy for me,
help me thank you as I should.
Let me through all I do
praise you, Lord, for all things good.

3 If this day I should stray,
show my heart the road to take.
Should I fear, please be near,
hear my prayer for Jesus' sake.


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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Originally a children's hymn for morning devotions, "Lord, I Pray" is suitable for God's children of all ages. It is a prayer requesting a forgiving heart (st. 1), grateful living (st. 2), and obedience and comfort through intimacy with God (st. 3).


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Belgic Confession, Article 26 provides the foundation for all our praying: “We believe that we have no access to God except through the one and only Mediator and Intercessor ‘Jesus Christ the righteous,’ who therefore was made human, uniting together the divine and human natures, so that we human beings might have access to the divine Majesty. Otherwise we would have no access.” We offer our prayers, therefore, “only on the basis of the excellence and dignity of Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is ours by faith.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 46, Question and Answer 120 verifies this privilege when it says, “Through Christ God has become our Father, and…just as our parents do not refuse us the things of this life, even less will God our Father refuse to give us what we ask in faith.”


Lord, I Pray

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
O God, if I am with a troubled person today,
make me kind.
If I am with an irritating person today,
make me kind.
If I am with an offensive person today,
make me kind; bring to mind your forgiveness makes me free in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord, I Pray

Tune Information

C Major

Musical Suggestion

This song would be fitting to sing after we have confessed our sins. Historic Christian liturgy placed the Kyrie (Lord, have mercy upon us) after a prayer of confession. Whereas the Kyrie pleads for mercy, this prayer is more like a child asking a parent to help him or her, with the assurance that our loving God will "hear my prayer for Jesus' sake."
There are many ways to sing this song, especially with a group of children. Take a month to learn the hymn congregationally, and then encourage the children to prepare an anthem for singing. Or teach the children the song first, and let them teach the congregation this simple and trusting prayer for God's guidance. Here is one way to make a lovely children's anthem out of this song:
  • St. 1: Children in unison, with piano (or organ, guitar, or autoharp)
  • St. 2: Children in unison, with the descant sung by a few older children or played on a melody instrument (flute, recorder, or violin).
  • St. 3: For an interlude before starting to sing stanza 3, begin the Orff patterns, the top part on bells (glockenspiel), and the bottom part on bass xylophone (or perhaps on keyboard, or on cello pizza-cato). Once the pattern is going well, bring in the children in a two-part round. After the children are through singing, the Orff players should continue their patterns one or two more times and then, on signal from the director, play the final ending.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 27)
— Emily Brink

Lord, I Pray

Hymn Story/Background

Originally a children's hymn for morning devotions, "Lord, I Pray" is suitable for God's children of all ages. It is a prayer requesting a forgiving heart (st. 1), grateful living (st. 2), and obedience and comfort through intimacy with God (st. 3).
Jean C. Keegstra-De Boer wrote the text in four stanzas in 1949; it was published in The Children’s Hymnbook (NUCS/Eerdmans, 1962). AnnaMae Bush prepared this harmonization for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.
The tune KLOKJE KLINKT is a traditional Dutch melody, often associated in the Netherlands with the folk song "Klokje klinkt, vogel zingt" ("Clocks do ring, birds do sing"). Use light organ accompaniment and sing in unison or harmony. The melody may also be sung as a round after two measures, provided this accompaniment is not used. Try stanza 3 as a round without accompaniment. Keep the sense of two long musical lines.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Jean C. Keegstra-De Boer (b. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1922; d. Worth, Illinois, 1982) studied at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, and worked for a time as an editor for Zondervan Publishing. She published several books of verse, including Bible ABC's in Rhyme (1946). Some of her hymns appeared in Let Youth Praise Him (1949).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

AnnaMae Bush (b. October 13, 1947, Paterson, New Jersey) attended North 4th Street Christian School, Eastern Christian Middle and High School, graduating in 1965. She attended Calvin College and graduated in 1969 with a BA in Music and minors in Sociology, English, and Theology. She studied worship at Calvin Theological Seminary and has written several hymns that were published in Joyful Noises, the collection of songs produced by and for Church of the Servant, her home congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and for which she also served as church secretary for ten years.
— Emily Brink
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