Tag Archives: Methodist

Worship with Charles Wesley’s Hymns

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, April 22, 2017

O for a thousand, words and cross

Worship with Charles Wesley’s Hymns

Ah, Charles Wesley. That great writer of hymns! He and his brother John were also the founders of a renewal group within the Church of England that later became the Methodist denomination.

As a church musician and lover of traditional hymnody, I have loved the Wesleys’ hymns for decades. I was excited to see Charles Wesley figure into this collection of spiritual giants, and excerpts from their writings. I read the complete, additional stanzas that Charles Wesley wrote, on the anniversary of his “second birth.” As I read this oh-so-familiar hymn, I could not but help but sing it as I read. (To the tune of AZMON, of course.)

I knew Wesley had written lots of verses for this hymn, and had even read several more than most hymnals usually print. However, this reading is the most complete I have yet seen.

He begins the first verse with praise to God. (As is perfectly appropriate.) The second verse makes mention of his anniversary! That “glad day the glorious Sun/of righteousness arose; on my benighted soul he shone/and filled it with repose.” [1]

I, too, feel as if my soul is benighted, sometimes. (Even after I know I have a relationship with God.) However, the third verse comes to my aid! “Sudden expired the legal strife,/’twas then I cease to grieve; my second, real, living life/I then began to live.” [2] Here at last I am comforted with the understanding that Jesus has, indeed, paid it all. He has cancelled the legal debt I owed, and set me free. I no longer need to grieve or be afraid.

So, then, I can sing with Christians from all over the world, for centuries, “O for a thousand tongues to sing/my great Redeemer’s praise! The glories of my God and King,/the triumphs of his grace.” [3] Indeed, His blood can make the foulest clean—and I believe Jesus’s blood covers my sins. Praise His name! What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus. Amen. Alleluia.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 259.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 260.

As Long As Ever You Can

matterofprayer blog post for Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pray Pray Pray 1 Thess

As Long As Ever You Can

I shift from one helpful prayer guide to another. I’m afraid I’m not that constant, as far as sticking with one prayer guide is concerned. However, God sends me amazing things to pray about, no matter which prayer book I happen to be using at the time.

Take yesterday, for example. I used James Howell’s devotional book on prayer. (I know I mentioned it here before.) Rev. Howell is a Methodist elder and a knowledgeable person on the subject of prayer. His discussion on fruitfulness was quite helpful to me, especially since I am trying to find intentional acts of service to do. On a regular basis, of course.

Howell mentioned “inward holiness,” or growing our souls deeper into God. Being fruitful is one way for me to grow deeper into God (his words). Or, in my way of thinking, if I am fruitful, I walk more closely with God. After all, if I feel far away from God, chances are that I moved away. I suspect God is patient and long-suffering. God will stay right in the same place, no matter how long it takes.

I am actively looking for acts of loving, caring service each day in 2014. I pray on a regular basis for God to send acts of service my way. It is amazing how God is answering that prayer. And in odd ways, humorous ways, even amazing ways. (Check out my other blog, A Year of Being Kind. Today’s post: http://wp.me/p4cOf8-2R )

I attended seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, which is a United Methodist seminary. So, I have some understanding of John Wesley and his ideas of personal holiness. Moreover, I know something about the service orientation that is deeply part of many Methodists, and their way of doing and thinking about theology. Some of my best friends at seminary are currently serving UMC churches. Praise God for them and their various ministries.

I would like to close in prayer today with a particular quote of John Wesley. I am taking Wesley’s general rules for living and altering them slightly to turn them into a prayer. I invite you to pray with me. Dear God, help us to do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as ever we can. In Your mercy, God, hear our prayer.