Prayer for Children

Gracious Lord, our children see

Author: William Cowper
Published in 24 hymnals

Representative Text

1 Gracious Lord, our children see,
By thy mercy we are free;
But, shall these alas! remain
Subjects still of Satan's reign?
Israel's young ones, when of old
Pharaoh threatened to withhold;
Then thy messenger said, "No;
Let the children also go."

2 When the angel of the Lord
Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
Slew with an avenging hand,
All the first-born of the land;
Then thy people's doors he passed,
Where the bloody sign was placed;
Hear us now upon our knees,
Plead the blood of Christ for these!

3 Lord we tremble for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight:
Spread thy pinions King of kings!
Hide them safe beneath thy wings;
Lest the ravenous birds of prey
Stoop, and bear the brood away.

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Gracious Lord, our children see
Title: Prayer for Children
Author: William Cowper
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Gracious Lord, our children see. W. Cowper. [Prayer on behalf of Children.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book ii, No. 12, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled “A Prayer for Children," and signed "C." Its use in Great Britain is somewhat limited, but in America it is found in numerous collections. The reading of stanza i., “Gracious God, our children see," dates from Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 24 of 24)
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A Collection of Hymns for the use of Christians #LXV

A Selection of Hymns #d82

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A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors. #A9

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians. 9th ed. #d64

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians #d44

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Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians #58

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Use of Christians. 8th ed. #d62

Hymns and Spiritual Songs, for the Use of Christians #d28

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Hymns of the Church Militant #409

Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons 3rd Am. from 9th London ed. #d78

Hymns, Selected from Various Authors, for the Use of Young Persons #d70

Psalms and Hymns for Public worship, Containing All the Psalms and Hymns of Dr. Watts ... #d254

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Select Hymns, The Third Part of Christian Psalmody. 3rd ed. #aa167

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Select Hymns #167

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The Advent Harp; designed for believers in the speedy coming of Christ #166a

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The Harp #892

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The Harp. 2nd ed. #a892

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The Lord's Songs #CCXI

The Melody of the Heart #d15

The Millennial Harp #d131

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The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Rev. Isaac Watts, D. D. #D167

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