Great King of Nations, Hear Our Prayer

Representative Text

1 Great King of nations, hear our prayer,
while at your feet we fall,
and humbly, with united cry,
to you for mercy call.

2 The guilt is ours, but grace is yours,
O turn us not away;
but hear us from your lofty throne,
and help us when we pray.

3 Our fathers' sins were manifold,
and ours no less we own,
yet wondrously from age to age
your goodness has been shown.

4 When dangers, like a stormy sea,
beset our country round,
to you we looked, to you we cried,
and help in you was found.

5 With one consent we meekly bow
beneath your chast'ning hand,
and, pouring forth confession meet,
mourn with our mourning land.

6 With pitying eye behold our need,
as thus we lift our pray'r;
correct us with your judgments, Lord,
then let your mercy spare.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #557

Author: John Hampden Gurney

Gurney, John Hampden, M.A., eldest son of Sir John Gurney, a Baron of the Exchequer, was born in Serjeants’ Inn, London, Aug. 15, 1802, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1824. On taking Holy Orders he became Curate of Lutterworth (1827-1844), and subsequently Rector of St. Mary's, Marylebone, and Prebendary of St. Paul's Cathedral. He died in London, March 8, 1862. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and other religious societies had his cordial sympathy, and received his active support. His publications include several small volumes in prose, and the following:— (1) Church Psalmody; Hints for the improvement of a Collection of Hymns published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Great King of nations, hear our prayer
Title: Great King of Nations, Hear Our Prayer
Author: John Hampden Gurney (1838)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Great King of nations, hear our prayer. J. H. Gurney. [Public Fast.] First published in his Lutterworth Collection of Hymns for Published Worship, 1838, No. 76, in 3 stanzas of 4 double lines, and headed, "Fast Day; or, Time of Public Calamity." It was repeated in the Marylebone Psalms & Hymns, 1851, No. 66, and is found in numerous modern collections, including Hymns Ancient & Modern, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, the Hymnal Companion, &c. It ranks as one of the best hymns for the occasion of Public Fasting.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ST. AGNES (Dykes)

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…

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Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #557

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