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How Shall They Hear the Word of God

How shall they hear the word of God

Author: Michael A. Perry (1980)
Published in 13 hymnals

Printable scores: MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 How shall they hear the word of God
unless his truth is told?
How shall the sinful be set free,
the sorrowful consoled?
To all who speak the truth today,
impart your Spirit, Lord, we pray.

2 How shall they call to God for help
unless they have believed?
How shall the poor be given hope,
the prisoner reprieved?
To those who help the blind to see,
give light and love and clarity.

3 How shall the gospel be proclaimed
that sinners may repent?
How shall the world find peace at last
if heralds are not sent?
So send us, Lord, for we rejoice
to speak of Christ with life and voice.

Author: Michael A. Perry

(no biographical information available about Michael A. Perry.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: How shall they hear the word of God
Title: How Shall They Hear the Word of God
Author: Michael A. Perry (1980)
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1982, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission


Scripture References:
st. 1-2 = Rom. 10:14
st. 3 = Rom. 10:15

In 1980 Michael A. Perry (PHH 299) wrote this text in Southhampton, England, for use at a tenth anniversary service for "Radio Solent," a celebration held in Winchester Cathedral in 1981. The text was first published in Hymns for Today's Church (1982).

Inspired by Romans 10:14-17, “How Shall They Hear” is a missions text. The first line of each stanza poses a question in the manner of the Pauline passage, and the final line a prayer that continues a personal commitment to be witnesses for Christ "with life and voice." That personal commitment is our answer to the questions posed earlier.

Liturgical Use
Services that promote missions and evangelism (during Epiphany and Pentecost seasons); ordination/ commissioning of missionaries; prayer meetings prior to evangelistic campaigns.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook




O JESU first appeared in an organ collection, Sammlung alter und neuer Melodien evangelischen Lieder (1747), compiled by Johann B. Reimann for use with texts found in the Hirschberger evangelischen Gesangbuch (1741). Often attributed to Reimann, the tune was set to "O Jesu, warum legst du mir so vie…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #531
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Instances (1 - 13 of 13)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #575TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #449TextPage Scan
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #507a
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #507b
New English Praise: a supplement to the New English Hymnal #649a
New English Praise: a supplement to the New English Hymnal #649b
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #531Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Scripture Song Database #1560
Scripture Song Database #1561
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #599
The United Methodist Hymnal #649TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The Worshiping Church #740Text
Worship (3rd ed.) #629Page Scan