On a recent BBC Songs of Praise programme, the regular presenters chose their favourite hymn and gave reasons for their choice. I love hymns, both ancient and modern, and after many years of playing them, singing and listening to them, I’d find it difficult to choose just one as my favourite. I have so many favourites. One hymn, which must be among my top three, is one which was chosen on that programme. It’s ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’.
The whole hymn expresses a desire to experience more of the presence and peace of the Lord and the need to turn from the clamour and distractions of the world and our, so often, foolish behaviour. The hymn starts with a prayer for forgiveness and asks for a rightful mind, and a purer life with which to praise God, with deeper reverence. The second stanza bears witness to those early disciples. When called by the Lord, they obediently followed. The hymn writer encourages us to do the same.
The remaining stanzas express the blessing that’s to be found by spending time, as Jesus did, in quiet relationship with God and allowing His spirit to subdue all that would hinder us from receiving all He has for us. As we do so, and submit to Him, we can look forward to what’s promised later in the hymn, that our strivings will cease, the strain and stress will be removed, and that our ordered lives will demonstrate something of the beauty of His peace.
The hymn finishes by asking that, amidst all the busyness of life, all our human endeavours and circumstances wouldn’t prevent us from hearing the still small voice of our loving Heavenly Father.
It’s a great hymn, and I suggest you get hold of a hymn book, or look it up on Google, and prayerfully read (or sing) it through. I feel sure that it will really bless you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as this hymn suggests, please help me to put You first, to spend time with You, and, in this busy, noisy world, experience more of the peace of Your presence. Amen.
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