God Gives His People Strength / God Give Your People Strength

This hymn is a statement of faith in God as a source of strength, hope, love and peace.

It  was written by American, Roman Catholic religious sister, theologian and composer, Miriam Therese Winter (b 1938).  The song was originally published in her collection "Joy is like the Rain", and later included in Songlines: Hymns, Songs, Rounds and Refrains for Prayer and Praise.

The tune is named STRENGTH, and has a 4/4 time signature. In Songlines it is set in the key of D, and the first few notes are D D F E C D.

In the 1960s, it was included as the recessional hymn in Winter's Mass of a Pilgrim People, which released under the title "Praise the Lord in Many Voices, A Recorded Performance in Carnegie Hall" under the Avante Garde label  in 1967 (ref).

In 1996, the words were revised by Winter, and the song was re-titled "God give Your People Strength". This version was included on an album (CD?) titled Keepsakes. The underlying form of the text changed from a series of statements about God, to a series of petitions asking for various gifts.   However this does not appear to have been widely used.

Recently recorded videos on YouTube suggest that the song is being sung by choirs and small ensembles, both as a concert piece and in church services, in the early 21st century.




Downloads

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Examples

Original recording - choir with gentle plucked guitar:

Duet with guitar:

Choir with harp, concert performance


Guitar ensemble, recorded live in a church service:


Choir, unaccompanied - professional 21st century recording:


Lyrics

The lyrics are copyright so cannot be reproduced here. But the original words are available here, and the revised words are here.

The song has 4 verses: each one starts and ends with a statement / invocation of a specific gift (strength, hope, love, etc), and has some reflections in it in between.  A rough outline is:
God gives His people strength.
If we believe in His way, ...

God gives His people hope.
If we but trust in His word, ...

God gives His people love.
If we but open wide our heart, ...

God gives His people peace.
When sorrow fills us to the brim, ...

Revised lyrics

1  God, give Your people strength. 
If we believe in Your way, 
You’re swift to repay 
all those who bear the burden of the day. 
God, give Your people strength. 

2  God, give Your people hope. 
If we but trust in Your Word, 
our prayers are always heard. 
You warmly welcome anyone who’s erred. 
God, give Your people hope. 

3  God, give Your people love. 
If we but open wide our heart, 
You’re sure to do Your part, 
and always the first to make a start. 
God, give Your people love. 

4  God, give Your people peace. 
When sorrow fills us through and through, 
our courage renew. 
Come, lay to rest our restlessness in You. 
God, give Your people peace.


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KEEP IN CASE ORIGINAL IS REMOVED, BUT DO NOT DISPLAY
God gives His people strength.
If we believe in His way.
He's swift to repay all those
who bear the burden of the day.
God gives His people strength.

God gives His people hope.
If we but trust in His word,
our prayers are always heard.
He warmly welcomes anyone who's erred.
God gives His people hope.

God gives His people love.
If we but open wide our heart,
He's sure to do His part;
He's always the first to make a start.
God gives His people strength.

God gives His people peace.
When sorrow fills us to the brim,
and courage grows dim,
He lays to rest our restlessness in Him.
God gives His people peace.

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Sheet Music Anywhere at Musicnotes.com