I need to pray more. I keep a book on the history of hymns next to the Bible I read in the mornings. I hope the following entry from February 27, 2011 helps explain why.
Tonight in our PM worship, Paul Arnold led one of the most beautiful hymns I know, Savior, Breathe An Evening Blessing. I told Paul that I'm not sure I have heard it sung in a service in twenty years. I admit I am partial to older hymns as those were the ones we sang when I was a child. While the newer church songs have their merits, I gravitate to the ones written centuries ago. Maybe I enjoy the more challenging lyrics which seem less repetitious than many we use today. Maybe it's my belief that the music paired with these older lyrics is superior to the more modern songs... (while reminding myself I know nothing about music.) Maybe it's just that hymns like Savior, Breathe An Evening Blessing remind me of my childhood which reminds me of my parents. I don't think I have ever commented on my quote of the day but I really am touched by the sentiments of Andy Griffith, who often used hymns in his television show. Many of us say our prayers as we lay down to sleep but I think it safe to say we rarely cover the thoughts penned below by Englishman James Edmeston. I never pray about dying in my slumber but the thoughts of waking in heaven would be good for me to ponder. My favorite line comes from stanza 2: Angel guards from thee surround us. I need that sense of protection that our Father promised and I need to be more aware of the teaching which can be gleaned from many old hymnals. When I go to bed in an hour, I will sing these beautiful words as my evening prayer. I'll let you know how I sleep.
Savior, breathe an evening blessing
Ere repose our spirits seal,
Sin and want we come confessing;
Thou canst save, and Thou canst heal.
Though destruction walk around us,
Though the arrows past us fly,
Angel guards from Thee surround us;
We are safe if Thou art nigh.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
Thou art He who, never weary,
Watcheth where Thy people be.
Should swift death this night o'ertake us
And our couch become our tomb,
May the morn in heaven awake us,
Clad in light and deathless bloom.
Applicable quote of the day:
"You know when you're young you think you will always be. As you become more fragile, you reflect and you realize how much comfort can come from the past. Hymns can carry you into the future."
To hear this hymn song wonderfully by the Harding University (my alma mater!) chorus, copy and paste the link below:
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org