1 Father of lights, from whom proceeds
Whate'er thy every creature needs;
Whose goodness, providently nigh,
Feeds the young ravens when they cry;
To thee I look; my heart prepare;
Suggest and hearken to my prayer.
2 Since by thy light myself I see
Naked, and poor, and void of thee,
Thine eyes must all my thoughts survey,
Preventing what my lips would say:
Thou seest my wants; for help they call
And, ere I speak, thou know'st them all.
3 Fain would I know, as known by thee,
And feel the indigence I see;
Fain would I all my vileness own,
And deep beneath the burden groan;
Abhor the pride that lurks within,
Detest and loathe myself and sin.
4 Ah, give me, Lord myself to feel;
My total misery reveal:
Ah, give me Lord, I still would say,
A heart to mourn, a heart to pray:
My business this, my only care--
My life, my every breath, be prayer.
Source: The Voice of Praise: a collection of hymns for the use of the Methodist Church #366
Father of lights, from Whom proceeds. C. Wesley. First published in Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1739, in 8 stanzas of 6 lines, and entitled “A Prayer under Convictions." The first five stanzas were given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1780, as No. 96, and repeated in later editions, and in other collections. Another arrangement appeared in Toplady's Psalms & Hymns, 1776, No. 284, and subsequent editions. It is in 8 stanzas. The first six are from the original as above, and the remaining two are the first and last stanzas of Psalms cxxxix. in the Wesley Hymns & Sacred Poems, 1739. This cento is sometimes found in Church of England hymnals. Original texts, Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. i. 76, 87.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)