Updated: Nov 19, 2020
In the book of Ephesians, Paul encourages us to pray always, yet we have relegated prayer to a burdensome interruption to our busy day only to squeeze in a two-minute request at bedtime. When Jesus came to His disciples and found them asleep, He said unto them, “What, could you not prayer with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). If prayer is so sweet, why do we neglect such a powerful tool that aids in our spiritual growth and eradicates unbelief?
This month’s Hymn It Up! highlights the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer”. There is a mystery that surrounds the authorship of the hymn but it is attributed to William W. Walford. The hymn first appeared in the September 13, 1845 edition of The New York Observer which accompanied a note from a minister who had recently migrated from Great Britain. The note explained that the alleged author of the hymn was a blind preacher with “…no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory” (Morgan, 2004, p. 71). Unfortunately, the description of this preacher could never be traced. However, there was a preacher named William W. Walford, who although not blind or uneducated, wrote a book about prayer that was quite similar to the words of the hymn leading some to believe he authored it.
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
Although probably not a song sang during Worship and Praise, it is a great song to sing before the opening prayer to usher in the presence of the Lord. Look for the video on my YouTube channel and subscribe.