#SS: Sweet Hour Of Prayer

Another favorite hymn of mine.

About the hymn:

    William Walford was blind, but this did not make him worthless. On the contrary, as he sat by the fire in his English home in the mid-nineteenth century, his hands kept busy, whittling out useful objects, such as shoehorns. His mind was active, too.

    Called on to preach from time to time in a rural English church, Willam Walford composed sermons in his head to deliver on Sundays. He memorized a huge amount of the Bible which he quoted verbatim in his sermons. Some of his folk thought he had memorized the entire Scripture, cover to cover. William also composed lines of verse. And he prayed.

    Thomas Salmon, a New York native, spent some time in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, where he became acquainted with William. He tells this tale of what happened one day, while he was visiting the blind pastor:

    "...He repeated two or three pieces which he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within. "How will this do?" asked he, as he repeated the following lines, with a complacent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he subject himself to criticism. I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil, as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in the Observer, if you should think them worthy of preservation."

    The Observer did consider them worth preserving, and they were published on this day, September 13, 1845, becoming a beloved hymn.

    Beyond the fact that he was blind and the few details recorded by Thomas Salmon, we know little of William Walford. But his hymn, Sweet Hour of Prayer has touched hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides of the Atlantic, expressing the genuine joy he found in prayer.

“Sweet Hour Of Prayer”
    Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
    That calls me from a world of care,
    And bids me at my Father’s throne
    Make all my wants and wishes known.
    In seasons of distress and grief,
    My soul has often found relief
    And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
    By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

    Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
    The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
    Of those whose anxious spirits burn
    With strong desires for thy return!
    With such I hasten to the place
    Where God my Savior shows His face,
    And gladly take my station there,
    And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
    Thy wings shall my petition bear
    To Him whose truth and faithfulness
    Engage the waiting soul to bless.
    And since He bids me seek His face,
    Believe His Word and trust His grace,
    I’ll cast on Him my every care,
    And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
    Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
    May I thy consolation share,
    Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
    I view my home and take my flight:
    This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
    To seize the everlasting prize;
    And shout, while passing through the air,
    “Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

I am always open to suggestions for songs to be used, as well as other suggestions you might have for the blog. If you would rather not share that info in the comments, you may email your suggestions.


  1. That's a real "oldie but goodie" that I've heard all my life and yet I cannot ever remember singing it or hearing it in church. Interesting story about its composer. A good example how we can overcome any obstacle with will and faith.

    Have a peaceful pleasant Sunday.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Lee. I find it a good reminder that prayer does bring comfort and peace. I've got a few hymns in my line-up that I've heard, but aren't typically sung at my church gatherings. It's my way of broadening my own horizons.

      Have a wonderful day.


  2. Mary,

    This is a beautiful and comforting old hymnal that I heard many times as a kid in church. I love reading the backstory! How inspiring!! It's in time spent with the Almighty I find that quiet release of all worldly cares and am refreshed to carry on. Thanks for sharing, my dear. Trusting and praying for your wounds to heal more speedily. Have a restful Sunday afternoon, my dear! {{hugs}}

    1. Thanks, Cathy!
      I'll see you tomorrow for a fun theme - that will knock your socks off!

  3. The background of this hymn is fascinating! I will enjoy this hymn more and think of the man who wrote it anytime we sing this in church in the future. Thanks, Mary!

    1. Thank you, Arnold!

      I caught myself humming this one during the week. It must have meant I was to be one of my posts. Sure do appreciate your stopping by and continued support.


    2. You bet. I sure appreciate your blog, and the backgrounds from these hymns. It makes the Sabbath for me that much more special!


Post a Comment

I love comments! Did you know that comments that are less than 8 words long are considered spam? So, don't hold back! Spill yer guts. Let me know you stopped by and let me know what you liked about the post, or what you didn't like. If you are a blogger, be sure to include a link to your blog, so that I can easily reciprocate.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget