Father Hear the Prayer we Offer

This is a inspirational hymn of petition, asking for God's presence in our lives.  It is sometimes used at weddings, because the words have particular significance to a couple starting their lives together.

It was written by American poet Love Maria Willis - neĆ© Whitcomb (1824-1908).  It was first published as a poem in Tiffany's Monthly in 1859.  From there it was picked up by several American hymn books of the time, and moved into mainstream use.  It is in several children's hymnbooks published in England, including the BBC's Complete Come and Praise.

With meter, tunes it has been set to include:
  • CARTER (Carter) by English composer Edmund S. Carter (1845-1923)
  • SUSSEX (33321) - a traditional English tune, composer unknown
  • ST. SYLVESTER (Dykes) by English minister and organist, John Bacchus Dykes (1823- 1876)
  • GOTT WILL'S MARCHEN by Johann Ludwig Steiner (1723)
  • STOCKWELL (Jones) by Darius E. Jones (1851)
and many others:  No one tune appears to be commonly used for this hymn.


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Choir with light organ, TV show performance:

Choir with organ, words on-screen:

Choir with organ, professional recording:

Singer with guitar:

Choir with organ:

Instrumental - organ:


Father, hear the prayer we offer:
Not for ease that prayer shall be,
But for strength that we may ever
Live our lives courageously.

Not forever in green pastures
Do we ask our way to be;
But the steep and rugged pathway
May we tread rejoicingly.

Not forever by still waters
Would we idly rest and stay;
But would smite the living fountains
From the rocks along our way.

Be our strength in hours of weakness,
In our wanderings be our guide;
Through endeavour, failure, danger,
Father, be thou at our side.

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