We Sing the Mighty Power of God

Full Text

1 We sing the mighty power of God
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad
and built the lofty skies.
We sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command,
and all the stars obey.

2 We sing the goodness of the Lord
that filled the earth with food;
he formed the creatures with his word
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how your wonders are displayed,
where’er we turn our eyes,
if we survey the ground we tread
or gaze upon the skies.

3 There’s not a plant or flower below
but makes your glories known,
and clouds arise and tempests blow
by order from your throne;
while all that borrows life from you
is ever in your care,
and everywhere that we can be,
you, God, are present there.

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Stanza 1 provides a very nurturing picture of the Creator and whose “power [that] made the mountains rise,” whose “wisdom [that] ordained the sun to rule the day.”
This song tells of the Lord who “filled the earth with good” and then “pronounced it good” (stanza 2). All these references are echoed in Belgic Confession, Article 2: this “beautiful book” makes us “ponder the invisible things of God.”

We Sing the Mighty Power of God

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Acclamation
Great God, creator of billions of galaxies, each a bonfire of billions of stars, you also boom and crackle in summer storms. Your power is great, but so is your goodness that fills the earth with food. Your power and your goodness are great, but never greater than your love for sinners through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord, you make a pink flower from a gray seed,
an ear from a kernel,
a carrot from a seed the size of a pinhead,
an oak tree from an acorn.
You have programmed your soil to provide food for your plants,
wooden trees to make apples, feathered hens to lay eggs,
grass-eating cows to give milk.
And you, grand Creator, you have us take care of your grand creation.
In your mercy, Lord, send rain to water our crops and gardens.
Let your sun shine on our fields so that seeds will produce abundantly,
so that vines and stalks and trees will hang heavy with fruit and grain.
And Lord, let your grace be as rich to our cattle as it is to us;
let it keep our hogs free of disease,
our hens laying eggs, and our cows giving milk.
May our animals be fertile;
may our lambs and calves and pigs frolic in your green pastures
so that even in their play we may see your grace.
Help us to live on your good earth—
preserving and caring for the life and soil you bless,
ever thankful that for our good
you gave your laws of nature and your law of love.
Help us for our good and your glory to see those laws as you see them
and as the psalmist saw them—as good and perfect, pleasant to think about.
And Lord, teach us to share the abundance you have given us,
never gloating in our excess
but always giving our first bushels to feed the hungry in your name.
Enlighten our hearts, Lord,
so that our thank-yous ever rise in a crescendo to your throne.
See and hear us through the blood of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 14:39]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

We Sing the Mighty Power of God

Tune Information

e minor or modal
Meter D


Musical Suggestion

Alfred Fedak’s arrangement of the KINGSFOLD tune brings out the joyful, bouncy side of creation. Organists should play lightly with some space between the notes, and at a faster tempo than the traditional harmonization (#162).
— Greg Scheer

We Sing the Mighty Power of God

Hymn Story/Background

Written by Isaac Watts, this eight-stanza text originally began "I sing the almighty power of God." The text was published in Divine and Moral Songs for the Use of Children (1715; the first hymnal intended primarily for children) with the heading "Praise for Creation and Providence." Lift Up Your Hearts omits the original stanzas 7 and 8 and combines the other six original stanzas into three longer ones.
Although it was written for children, this is also a great hymn for adults. The text presents a wonderful view of God's creation, sketched in vivid pictorial language. The creation around us is a beautiful panorama that testifies to its Creator, whose power and wisdom (st. 1), goodness and wonders (st. 2), and providence and omnipresence (st. 3) we confess with awe and praise.
Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland.
The tune was published in English Country Songs (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold, Sussex, England (thus its name), Ralph Vaughan Williams introduced it as a hymn tune in The English Hymnal (1906) as a setting for Horatius Bonar's “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.”
Shaped in classic rounded bar form (AABA), KINGSFOLD has modal character and is both dignified and strong. Use a bright organ tone.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Isaac Watts (b. Southampton, England, 1674; d. London, England, 1748) was a precocious student and voracious reader. As a youth he studied Latin, Greek, French, and Hebrew. He declined an offer to study at Oxford and chose instead to attend an independent academy in Stoke Newington (1690-1694). From 1696 to 1701 Watts was tutor for the family of Sir John Hartopp, and in 1702 he became the pastor of Mark Lane Independent Chapel in London. However, ill health, which he had suffered for some years, took a serious turn in 1712. After that time he served the Mark Lane Chapel only on a part-time basis and moved in to the estate of Sir Thomas Abney to became the family chaplain, a position he held for the rest of his life. During the following thirty-six years Watts was a prolific author–writing books about theology, philosophy (including an influential textbook, Logic), and education, as well as con­ducting a voluminous correspondence.
Today, Watts is best remembered for his psalm paraphrases and hymns, while many of his contemporaries were exclusive psalm singers. After complaining about the poor quality of many of the psalm paraphrases, the teenager Watts was challenged by his father, "Give us something better!" So, he began to write new psalm versifications in which he deliberately chose not to follow closely the King James text but instead to interpret the Old Testament psalms through contemporary British Christian and New Testament eyes.
The next step was to write hymns rather than Scripture paraphrases. What he called "hymns of human composure" established him as the creator of the modern English hymn; he is known as the "father of English hymnody." Altogether, Watts wrote more than six hundred psalm and hymn texts, which were published in his Horae Lyricae (1706), Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), Divine Songs . . . for the Use of Children (1715), The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719), and Sermons and Hymns (1721-1727). Most of Watts' texts use the traditional British ballad meters (Short Meter, Common Meter, and Long Meter) and state their theme in often memorable first lines. His work became immensely popular in the English-speaking world, including the United States, where, following the American Revolution, Watts' texts were edited by Timothy Dwight in 1801 to remove their British connotations. Several of his versifications and hymns are still found in most hymnals; especially loved are the paraphrase of Psalm 90, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" (405), and the hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" (175).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Alfred Fedak (b. 1953), is a well-known organist, composer, and Minister of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in Albany, New York. He graduated from Hope College in 1975 with degrees in organ performance and music history. He obtained a Master’s degree in organ performance from Montclair State University, and has also studied at Westminster Choir College, Eastman School of Music, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, and at the first Cambridge Choral Studies Seminar at Clare College, Cambridge. 
As a composer, he has over 200 choral and organ works in print, and has three published anthologies of his work (Selah Publishing). In 1995, he was named a Visiting Fellow in Church Music at Episcopal Seminary of the Soutwest in Austin, Texas. He is also a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the AGO’s prestigious S. Lewis Elmer Award. Fedak is a Life Member of the Hymn Society, and writes for The American Organist, The Hymn, Reformed Worship, and Music and Worship. He was a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song that prepared Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
— Laura de Jong
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