Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, strength to me impart
And make me love you as I ought to love.
I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies,
But take the dimness of my soul away.
Teach me to love you as your angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame.
The baptism of the heaven-descended dove,
My heart an altar and your love the flame.
- Read the first verse. Can you speak or sing these words with conviction that this is your own prayer?
- The story of Christ’s transfiguration, the image of Elijah being carried to heaven in a fiery chariot, and the moment when the persecutor Saul of Tarsus was struck down as he approached Damascus are all explosive images of God’s revelation. They all represent transforming moments. How does this hymnwriter wish to be transformed? What sort of transformation do you think you need?
- Is there anyone you do not love? Cannot love? Don’t want to love? What could change that state of affairs?
- Think of two things in your life that would be different if you actually made your heart an altar lit by the love of God.