Sunday, 24 March 2019

Awake My Soul

This next Spencer picture is simply called "Awaking" . Nothing more complicated than that. Jesus wakes and his first action is prayer.
Hands together in supplication, eyes turned heavenwards.
I love those mornings when I wake 'naturally' and I can spend unhurried, uninterrupted, quiet moments talking to my Heavenly Father. I feel the day has started properly. 
But I am so aware of the fact that it is not always like that. There are a multitude of things getting in the way - for me, and for so many others

  • I'm woken 'unnaturally' by the alarm clock. Maybe my body, mind and soul aren't ready but the demands of the day mean I must get up and get on with it. 
  • I'm woken by the needs of someone else - the phone ringing, the baby crying, the pet scratching at the door needing attention, an early visitor pressing the doorbell. 
On these mornings it is often a case of "pray as you go" and I know my attention is sometimes not properly focused on my prayers or the task in hand. God is amazingly patient and gracious, and makes sense of my garbled words. 
John Wesley is said to have risen at 4am to spend the first four hours of the day in prayer. I remember a tutor at Spurgeons College pointing out that Wesley was usually in bed well before 9, and he didn't have any children! The tutor suggested that maybe we should not attempt to copy the Methodist's pattern if we were living and working in a society which required us to be busy later into the evenings. 
Here's a choir in Norwich Cathedral singing Thomas Ken's Morning Hymn [aka Awake my soul] . Written in 1695 it was originally frowned upon, because he used his own words not direct Scriptural texts. I learned this in childhood, and still enjoy singing it. You can find a modern version of the lyrics here. They're probably more meaningful to today's readers than the 17th Century originals, but I'm a little sad that we've lost the dull sloth! [Rosie has sloths on her new pyjamas]


  1. One of my first actions in the morning is to turn on the light in the main altar and saying a quick prayer of thanks for spending the night, safely, and waking up, alive. All I might say is "sadhu" which is the Buddhist equivalent of "Amen", but, it is enough; I know, in my heart, all that I am thankful for at that moment.

  2. Nothing to beat our good old fashioned hymns - full of meaning and reverence

  3. I love a rousing hymn and quiet contemplative mornings.


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