Good Morning Saints!
Today’s Bible Reading & Verse
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10
Today’s Song Story
Sweet Hour of Prayer
Rev. Thomas Salmon (1800-1854), a Congregational clergyman, served as the pastor of the Congregational Church in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England from 1838 to 1842. Upon his return to New York, he submitted the words to "Sweet Hour of Prayer" to The New York Observer with this note:
"During my residence at Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, I became acquainted with W.W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision, and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the reputation of knowing the whole Bible by heart."
He asked the Observer to publish these words "if you think them worthy of preservation." The newspaper agreed that the words were worthy, and published them in its September 13, 1845 issue.
About fifteen years later, in 1860 or 1861, William Batchelder Bradbury (1816-1868), a composer from New York, wrote the tune that is usually associated with this song. Bradbury also composed the music for other popular hymns, including: "Jesus Loves Me," "He Leadeth Me," "Just as I Am," "Jesus Like a Saviour Lead Us," and "The Solid Rock."
The song’s fame grew slowly but surely. It was first published in a Methodist hymnal in 1878.
After the song became well-known, students of hymnody tried to track down W.W. Walford, but they found no one of that name who fit the description given by Salmon. They did locate a Rev. William Walford in Homerton, England, but he was well educated and not blind. (Note: Coleshill is located near Birmingham, England. I was unable to locate Homerton, but my understanding is that Homerton was located near Coleshill.)
Two things struck me as I studied the history of this song:
The first is that neither the original author nor Rev. Salmon ever knew that these verses would become a much beloved song. Rev. Salmon died in 1854, long before William Bradbury composed the music. Rev. Walford, of course, probably never even knew that his poem had been published in a newspaper. The lesson for me was that God very often works through our lives in wonderful ways that we could never even guess. I am looking forward to pleasant surprises of that sort when I get to heaven.
The second is that the words of this song speak directly to our condition –– the "world of care" in which we live –– our "seasons of distress and grief." But it offers a remedy ––
a "sweet hour of prayer." And it holds out hope that we will find relief and escape "the tempter’s snare." We preachers might take a note of those three points: Speaking to the human condition –– offering a remedy –– and holding out hope. That’s good preaching, and that’s what this song does.
Today’s Worship Songs
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Running – Hillsong
Seeker – Audio Adrenaline
Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) – Chris Tomlin
Rise – Colton Dixon
Nothing Like Your Love – Hillsong United
Set a Fire – Jesus Culture
Miracle Maker – Kim Walker-Smith
One Thirst – Bethel Without Words
Today’s Worship is a ministry of The Servant’s House, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Come visit our Facebook page –
For information concerning our place and time of our Sunday worship call us at 514-451-4385 or 514-929-6098 or email me @ email@example.com
May Christ richly bless you!
The Servant’s House
9641 Blvd. LaSalle,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada