Sweet Hour of Prayer

Representative Text

1 Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
that calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father's throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter's snare
by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

2 Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
the joys I feel, the bliss I share
of those whose anxious spirits burn
with strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
where God my Savior shows his face,
and gladly take my station there,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

3 Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
thy wings shall my petition bear
to him whose truth and faithfulness
engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
believe his word, and trust his grace,
I'll cast on him my every care,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Author: W. W. Walford

William W. Walford, a blind preacher of England, is the author of the hymn beginning "Sweet hour of prayer." This hymn first appeared in print in the New York Observer September 13, 1845. The contributor who furnished the hymn says: "During my residence at Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, I became acquainted with W. W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision, and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the r… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer
Title: Sweet Hour of Prayer
Author: W. W. Walford (1845)
Meter: D
Language: English
Notes: Swahili translation: See "Wakati wangu kuomba"
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Prayer Songs


Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer. W. W. Walford. [Prayer.] In Nutter's Hymn Studies, N. Y., 1884, the note to this hymn is "Mr. Butterworth, in his Story of the Hymns, says, 'This hymn was written by Rev. Mr. Walford, an English blind preacher, and was given to the public in 1849.'" Beyond this we have no information except that the hymn is in several American collections, including the Meth. Episcopal Hymnal, 1878, and that the original consists of 4 stanzas of 8 lines. This hymn is given on p. 1204, ii. 52, as by Mrs. Van Alstyne, in error.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



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