Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright

Representative Text

1 Lord, teach us how to pray aright
with rev'rence and with fear.
though dust and ashes in your sight,
we may, we must draw near.

2 We perish if we cease from pray'r;
Oh, grant us pow'r to pray.
and when to meet thee we prepare,
Lord, meet us on our way.

3 Give deep humility; the sense
of godly sorrow give;
a strong desire with confidence,
to hear your voice and live;

4 Faith in the only sacrifice
that can for sin atone;
to cast our hopes, to fix our eyes
on Christ, on Christ alone.

5 Give these, and then your will be done;
thus strengthened with all might,
we, through your Spirit and your Son,
shall pray, and pray aright.

Source: Hymns to the Living God #274

Author: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… Go to person page >


Lord, teach us how to pray aright. J. Montgomery. [Praye.] Written in 1818, and first printed on a broadsheet with Montgomery's "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire;“ “What shall we ask of God in prayer?" and "Thou, God, art a consuming fire ;" for use in the Nonconformist Sunday Schools in Shef¬field. In Cotterill's Selection, 8th ed., 1819, No. 280, it was repeated in full in 4 stanzas of 8 lines, and headed, "The preparations of the heart in man." During the same year it was given, with alterations and the omission of stanza ii., in E. Bickersteth's Treatise on Prayer. In Montgomery's Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 482, the text in Bickersteth was repeated, with the restoration of stanza ii., and divided into 8 stanzas of 4 lines The text in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 65, is that of the Christian Psalter, 1825, with the change of stanza iv., lines. 1, 2, from:—

"God of all Grace, we come to Thee
With broken, contrite hearts";
"God of all grace, we bring to Thee
A broken, contrite heart."

This change is set down in the margin of Montgomery's private copy of the Christian Psalmist in his own handwriting. This hymn, in full or abridged, is in numerous collections. The variations of text which are found have arisen in a great measure from some editors copying from Cotterill's Selection of 1819, and others from the Christian Psalmist of 1825. The first is the original, and the second (with the above correction in Original Hymns 1853) is the authorized text. In some American Unitarian collections, including A Book of Hymns, 1848; and the Hymn [and Tune] Book for the Church and the Home, &c, 1868, a hymn beginning, "God of all grace, we come to Thee," is given from this, and opens with stanza iv.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 22 of 22)

Ambassador Hymnal #179


Ancient and Modern #129

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #478


Christian Worship (1993) #412

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #619


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #545

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Common Praise #98

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #418

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #382


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #745

Hymnal #350

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #227

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Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #367


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #545

Hymns Old and New #316

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Hymns to the Living God #274

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Moravian Book of Worship #750


Rejoice in the Lord #261


The Cyber Hymnal #4066

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The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #251

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The New English Hymnal #406


The Worshiping Church #628

Include 195 pre-1979 instances
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