1. How shall we answer terror’s cry,
The cunning blade, the flaming sky?
When murderous spite knocks down our door
And violence breaks upon our shore,
O let us come and look to You
To know Your will—what shall we do?
2. When Satan whispers, Hate your foe,
Now take your vengeance—draw the bow,
Protect us from the tempter’s guile,
The lying voice, the evil smile.
O let us come in trust to You,
To hear the word we know is true.
3. When executioners hung You high
You turned Your prayer up to the sky,
And pled the Father to forgive,
You asked that cruel men might live.
O let us Your example take,
And pray for sinners as we ache.
4. We pray that You their hearts will turn;
And light a holy fire to burn
Their dross away, so they may be
Like gold refined, eternally.
O let us pray that they become,
Like us, with You forever one.
This hymn was written in response to the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. Its first known public performance was March 19, 2006, at the Community Covenant Church, Omaha, Nebraska, where it was sung by soloist Michael Lyon, accompanied by his wife, music ministry director Kristin Lyon.
The original chant melody associated with this text [i.e., "Eternal Father, strong to save"] is found in most hymnals of denominations where chant has played a role, including the Lutheran tradition, which has produced much organ music on this well-known chant.
The setting here is by John B. Dykes (…