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April 03, 2022- #4829 Music & the Spoken Word

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Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“Awake and Arise, All Ye Children of Light”
Music: Welsh melody
Lyrics: David Warner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“A Child’s Prayer”1
Music and Lyrics: Janice Kapp Perry

“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (organ solo)
Music: Irish melody
Arrangement: Brian Mathias

“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”2
Music: English melody
Lyrics: Isaac Watts
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“For I Am Called by Thy Name”2
Music: Crawford Gates
Lyrics: Scripture

“Lead, Kindly Light”3
Music: John B. Dykes
Lyrics: John Henry Newman
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Arise, O God, and Shine”
Music: John Darwall
Lyrics: William Hurn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the album Love is Spoken Here.
  2. On the album Consider the Lilies.
  3. On the album Then Sings My Soul.

The Spoken Word

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Jesus of Nazareth once gave this bold invitation: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). The message seems to be that God has more to give us—faith to impart, comfort to bestow, blessings to pour out. He wants to give more, but He waits for us to ask, seek, and knock.

The invitation sounds simple, but it can be life-changing. When we come before Almighty God and open our hearts to Him in prayer, something happens inside us. Hypocrisy and vanity vanish before the God of truth. Our perspective expands and our trust deepens when centered on Him. And very often, it is in asking and seeking that we discover what we really want. 

Abraham Lincoln, who led his country through a dark time of civil war, humbly explained: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all [around] me, seemed insufficient for the day.”1

At some point, life drives each of us to our knees. We face situations we cannot handle alone, problems we cannot solve alone, weaknesses we cannot overcome alone. Whether spoken aloud or carried silently in the heart, every sincere prayer reaches heaven. Sometimes just knowing that brings us peace and gives us hope.

When we pray, we aren’t simply placing an order. Nor are we trying to bend God’s will to ours in order to get what we want. We are seeking a connection with the divine. It’s true that God knows our needs before we ask, but there’s power in asking, in seeking, in knocking. It involves searching our own hearts, even as we search to understand His. Prayer is a way we come to see ourselves and our lives from a larger, more eternal perspective. The clouds roll back, and we discover that we are not alone or helpless. In God’s time and in His way, we find the promise to be true: “Every one that asketh receiveth; and [everyone] that seeketh findeth; and to [everyone] that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:8). 

  1. In Tyron Edwards, comp., A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 431–32.