Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, October 5, 2015
“Teach Me Thy Love to Know”
Such a moving, short prayer I chose today. This prayer I chose from The Oxford Book of Prayer deals with “Hallowed be Thy Name” (Prayer 164, page 61)  It is listed under the subheading of Blessing and Thanksgiving. And, from several hundred years ago, too. The prayer is attributed to George Herbert, who lived from 1593 to 1653.
I was, indeed, moved by these brief lines: “Teach me Thy love to know;/That this new light, which now I see,/May both the work and workman show:/Then by a sunne-beam I will climbe to Thee.”
I felt deeply stirred by these few words. Herbert packed so much into them. Yes, I have often prayed to know the love of God more deeply. Yet, never in such a way as Herbert describes.
The new light of God’s love, God’s presence? Ah, such a thing to fall upon me. And, to reveal God’s work? Much less God the workman? Or, is it revealing those who work on God’s behalf? Either, or both. Still, such an image for me to have in my mind’s eye. Or, to hold in my heart.
The last line shakes my soul. Climbing to God on a sunbeam? At first glance, it could be seen as something immensely sweet and cloying. Like something from a cute and fluffy children’s television show. But as I continue to examine this prayer, and allow it to penetrate into me, I can see how the words gain resonance. Power. Like a clean wave on the shore, washing the cloying sweetness away.
Such an image for anyone to hold in their heart. God, bless the memory of George Herbert. Bless those who read Herbert’s words and come before God in spirit and truth as a result of reading them. Thank You.
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 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 61.