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How shall a contrite spirit pray

How shall a contrite spirit pray

Author: James Montgomery
Published in 4 hymnals

Representative Text

How shall a contrite spirit pray,
A broken heart its griefs make known,
A weary wanderer find the way
To peace and rest?--Through Christ alone.

He died that we might die to sin;
He rose, that, we to God might rise;
By His own blood He enter'd in
The holy place beyond the skies.

There, as our great High Priest He stands,
And pleads before the Mercy-seat,
Our cause is in His faithful hands,
Our enemies beneath his feet.

Father, in Him we claim our part,
For Thy Son's sake accept us now,
In Him well-pleased Thou always art,
Well pleased with us through Him be Thou.

O look on thine anointed One;
Thy gift in Him is all our plea,
Our righteousness,--what He hath done;
Our prayer--His prayer for us to Thee.

So, while He intercedes above,
In His dear name may we believe,
And all the fulness of Thy love
Into our inmost souls receive.

Sacred Poems and Hymns

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How shall a contrite spirit pray
Author: James Montgomery
Language: English


How shall a contrite [sinner] spirit pray. J. Montgomery. [Lent. Prayer.] Written Sept. 15, 1840, "M. MSS.," and published in an undated edition of T. Russell's Selection of Hymns for Congregational Worship, enlarged edition with Appendix; and again in Dr. Leifchild's Original Hymns, &c, 1842, No. 76. Subsequently it was included in the author's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 73. In Common Praise, 1879, it. is given as "How shall a contrite sinner pray?" Its use, especially in its original form, is extensive. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 4 of 4)

A Church of England Hymn Book #145


Sacred Poems and Hymns #73

Page Scan

The College Hymnal #183

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