Thursday, November 30, 2017

226. Parents' Prayer for Their Children

This is the third installment in my series of "litany meter" hymns representing an edifying, faithful prayer at different times in the lives of Christians. If my unmarried, childless existence disqualified me from writing the preceding "Prayer for a Pious Mate"
and "Childbearing Hymn," my credentials would be even more dubious in this case. But I don't think it is so. I have not lived 45 years sealed up in a solitary-confinement cell. I have been a family member, have lived among families, and have ministered to families. More to the point, I have absorbed a great deal that Holy Scripture says to families, including the parents of children. I think the best prayer in any situation would be one that gives back to God what He has given in His Word. This hymn attempts to do that in the context of bringing up children, and I hope those who have that responsibility may find it useful. The tune I chose for it is LITANY, from the "St. Alban's Tune Book" (actual title: Appendix to The Hymnal Noted), London, 1866, not to be confused with another tune titled LITANY in the same meter, by William H. Monk (1875), which I don't like as much. There is another tune I would prefer over this, but unfortunately it's one of only two hymn-tunes in The Lutheran Hymnal over which Concordia Publishing House still defends a copyright. Even compared to some other publishers, I've found that a strong deterrent against doing anything creative with it.
From the Maker's timeless throne,
Mighty Word, You once came down,
Born to seek and save Your own:
Savior, bless our children!

Let Your birth and childhood both
Sanctify and shape their growth;
Breathe baptism's forgiving oath:
Savior, bless our children!

Help them, too, grow strong and wise,
Bound, like You, to family ties,
Nor their parents' voice despise;
Savior, bless our children!

As with kindness, rich and true,
Babes into Your arms You drew,
So may they Your kingdom view:
Savior, bless our children!

Likewise, gentle Lord and just,
Take them as You can and must;
Lend them back to us in trust.
Savior, bless our children!

Purify, till You appear,
Teaching mouth and learning ear;
Nourish each in godly fear.
Savior, bless our children!

Give, Lord, our posterity
Faith and hope and charity;
Come want or prosperity,
Savior, bless our children!

No comments: