SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER                                                          written in 1845

The Story

According to one account, the author of this hymn was a blind preacher and  curio-shop owner in Coleshill, England. He carved ornaments out of ivory or wood, and sold them in his small store. He also wrote poetry.

One day, when a local minister stopped by his store, the blind shop owner – William Walford – mentioned he had composed a poem in his head. He asked the minister to write it down for him. 3 years later, the minister visited the United States and gave William’s poem to a newspaper editor.

Sadly, history has lost what happened to William Walford of Coleshill, England. Researchers have discovered a William Walford, a minister in Homerton, England, who wrote a book on prayer that records many of the same thoughts given in this poem. He may be the true author; we may never know.

Knowing who wrote this hymn is not as important, though, as knowing the God who hears and answers prayer.

By the way, that obscure reference to “Mt. Pisgah” in v.4 refers back to Deuteronomy 34… when Moses was allowed to look over the Promised Land.

The Song

Read this hymn, and, today, make it your own hymn of gratitude for the privilege of prayer!

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!

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!

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!

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!  May I thy consolation share,
till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height, I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize;
and shout, while passing through the air, “Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

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