Father, We Humbly Pray

Representative Text

1 Father, we humbly pray
To Thee, in whom we live;
Our countless sins, for Jesu’s sake,
Forgive, O Lord, forgive.

2 We have unthankful been
For all Thy tender care;
Thine indignation we deserve;
But spare, O Father, spare.

3 The creatures of Thy hand
Made for Thy glory are;
But we those creatures have abused;
Spare us, O Father, spare.

4 From plague and pestilence,
From famine, fire, and sword,
From storm and flood, from dearth and drought,
Deliver us, O Lord.

5 From hard and stubborn hearts,
Scorning Thy holy Word,
From discord, strife, and heresy,
Deliver us, O Lord.

6 With genial rains and dews
Temper the circling year,
With golden sunshine and fresh breeze;
Hear us, O Father, hear,

7 Sheepfolds and garners fill,
The homestead and the stall;
Orchards and gardens crown with fruits,
Maker and Lord of all.

8 Love in our households breathe;
Hearts ready to obey
As in Thy sight, and as to Thee,
Give us, O Lord, we pray.

9 Bless, Lord, our gracious Queen,
With Thy best bounties bless;
Grant her a long and glorious reign
In peace and quietness.

10 Bless, Lord, Thy holy Church,
With heav’nly graces bless.
That it may flourish and abound
In love and godliness.

11 Bishops and clergy bless;
Holy, and grave, and wise,
Faithful and zealous may they be
In all their ministries.

12 Our ancient minsters bless,
Where deep toned organs peal;
And village churches ’mong the trees,
Where peaceful peasants kneel.

13 Our schools of learning bless,
Our colleges and halls;
May piety and wisdom dwell
Ever within their walls!

14 Counsel in senates give,
Justice and law maintain;
And make contentment in all hearts
And loyalty to reign.

15 Our fleets and armies bless
With courage from on high;
And in all just and righteous wars
Give them the victory.

16 The widow desolate,
The children fatherless,
All who in grief and sorrow are,
Comfort, O Lord, and bless.

17 The erring and in sin,
All, Lord, who from Thee stray,
Bring them, O bring them back again
To Thy most holy way.

18 All who to heathen climes
Go forth and preach Thy Word,
Who bear glad tidings of good things,
Speed them, and help them, Lord.

19 May all who sit in gloom
Thy glorious light behold,
One faith, one Lord and Father own,
One Shepherd, and one fold!

20 So may we all with Christ
To highest Heav’n ascend,
And hallelujahs sing to Thee
Through ages without end.

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #12646

Author: Christopher Wordsworth

Christopher Wordsworth--nephew of the great lake-poet, William Wordsworth--was born in 1807. He was educated at Winchester, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A., with high honours, in 1830; M.A. in 1833; D.D. in 1839. He was elected Fellow of his College in 1830, and public orator of the University in 1836; received Priest's Orders in 1835; head master of Harrow School in 1836; Canon of Westminster Abbey in 1844; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1847-48; Vicar of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berks, in 1850; Archdeacon of Westminster, in 1865; Bishop of Lincoln, in 1868. His writings are numerous, and some of them very valuable. Most of his works are in prose. His "Holy Year; or, Hymns for Sundays, Holidays, and other occ… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Father, we humbly pray
Title: Father, We Humbly Pray
Author: Christopher Wordsworth
Copyright: Public Domain


Father, we humbly pray. Bishop C. Wordsworth. [Rogation Tide.] First published in his Holy Year, 1st edition 1862, p. 96, in 20 stanzas of 4 lines. In the latest editions of the Holy Year the 20 stanzas are divided into four parts, as (1) "Father, we humbly pray"; (2) "With genial rains and dews"; (3) "Bless, Lord, Thy holy Church"; (4) "The widow desolate." In the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871, No. 140, and Dr. Dale's English Hymn Book, 1874, No. 1232, the full text is given with the omission of stanza xii. Minor alterations are also introduced.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Melchior Vulpius (PHH 397) composed this short chorale tune, published as a setting for the anonymous funeral hymn "Christus, der ist mein Leben" ("For Me to Live Is Jesus") in Vulpius's Ein Schön Geistlich Gesangbuch (1609). Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) based his Cantata 95 on this tune and provided two…

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The Cyber Hymnal #12646
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The Cyber Hymnal #12646

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