1. "Abba, Father," we approach thee
In our Savior’s precious name,
We, thy children, here assembled,
Now thy promised blessing claim.
From our sins his blood hath washed us,
’Tis through Him our souls draw nigh,
And thy Spirit, too, hath taught us,
"Abba, Father," thus to cry.
2. Once as prodigals we wandered
In our folly far from thee;
But thy grace, o’er sin abounding,
Rescued us from misery:
Thou thy prodigals hast pardoned,
Kissed us with a Father’s love,
Killed the fatted calf, and called us
E’er to dwell with thee above.
3. Clothed in garments of salvation,
At Thy table is our place;
We rejoice, and thou rejoicest,
In the riches of thy grace.
"It is meet," we hear thee saying,
"We should merry and be glad;
I have found My once lost children,
Now they live who once were dead!"
4. "Abba, Father!" all adore thee,
All rejoice in Heav’n above,
While in us they learn the wonders
Of Thy wisdom, grace, and love.
Soon before Thy throne assembled,
All thy children shall proclaim,
"Glory, everlasting glory,
Be to God and to the Lamb!"
Source: Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs #2
Abba Father! we approach Thee. J. G. Deck. [Sons of God.] First published in the Appendix to the Hymns for the Poor of the Flock, 1841, No. 27, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines; again with the omission of stanza iii. in Psalms & Hymns, Lond., Walther, 1842; Walker's Cheltenham Collection, 1855; Snepp's Songs of Grace & Glory. 1872, No. 21, and other collections. It is a plain evangelical hymn of no special merit. In America it is found in the Baptist Hymn & Tune Book, Phil. 1871, No. 792.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
St. 1 = Jn 16:26, Jn 14:14, Re 1:5, Ro 8:15
St. 2 = Lk 15:12, Ro 5:20, Lk 15:20, Lk 15:23
St. 3 = Lk 15:22, Ep 1:7, Lk 15:24
St. 4 = Ga 4:6, Re 5:12-13
James Deck wrote of his youth, "I hoped there were no God," yet his mother's training pursued after him. "She read to me of Jesus, Of all his grace and love." After his conversion, the study of scripture revealed the doctrinal error of his Anglican upbringing. Forsaking all, he set his heart to follow God "at any cost." Later, his son testified this determination was "a trust never disappointed."
- Psalms and Hymns And Spiritual Songs (2018)