1 One thing needful! Lord, I pray Thee,
Teach me this alone to know:
All but this, though fair as may be,
Is a heavy yoke of woe.
Beneath it the heart with remorse is tormented;
Is seeking, but never is truly contented;
This one thing I long for, well worth all alone,
That I may be gladdened by all things in one.
2 O my soul, if thou wouldst find it,
Ask no creature to advise;
Neither seek of earth, nor mind it;
Mount o'er nature to the skies,
Where God is with man in One Person united;
Where all by His perfected fullness is lighted.
There, then, thy most needful, best portion extol,--
My welfare eternal, my Savior, my all.
3 E'en as Mary, all else quitting,
On this only bliss intent,
At the feet of Jesus sitting,
In a pure devotion pent:
Her spirit within her in ecstasy glowing,
Desiring the one thing her Lord was bestowing,
And lost in her Savior, to all things beside,
Receiving the one thing with all was supplied;--
4 So doth strong desire possess me,
Savior hear, for Thee alone
May I faithfully confess Thee;
Make me, Lord, Thy very own.
The many are e'en to the multitude turning,
But Thee will I seek, Lord, with love for Thee yearning;
Thy word is both spirit and life unto me;
What is there of good that is not found in Thee!
5 Wisdom, Lord, in Thee abiding,
Though in fullness unrevealed,
May my will obey Thy guiding
And to Thee in all things yield.
Let meekness and holy simplicity rule me;
In heavenly wisdom, O Lord, let them school me:
If truly I only know Thee as my Lord,
Ah, then I have wisdom's most perfect reward.
6 Naught can I bring, God, that please
But Thyself, Thou Boon most blest;
In Thy crimson blood, O Jesus,
My prosperity must rest.
That most perfect righteousness, Lord, is assured me,
Which Thou by Thy death on the cross hast secured me;
The robes of salvation I fondly desire,
My faith's everlasting and glorious attire.
7 Grant my soul in slumber lying,
In Thy likeness, Lord, to wake;
Made of God my sanctifying,
Thee my only choice I make:
For all things that serve godly life and behavior
Are given me only in Thee, Holy Savior.
Within me all lusts of the moment dethrone
The power of Thy blest resurrection make known.
8 Then, my Savior, naught can move me;
Thou my All in All shalt be:
Search my heart's intent and prove me,
Purging all hypocrisy.
See whether the slippery places impede me,
And then in the way everlasting still lead me:
The world I count worthless and all it may bring,
That I may find Thee, Lord, the one needful thing.
Source: Wartburg Hymnal: for church, school and home #300