Spirit of God, Who Dwells Within my Heart

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Since it is uniquely the work and passion of the Holy Spirit, who is “our Sanctifier by living in our hearts” (Belgic Confession, Article 9) and “by the work of the Holy Spirit [God] regenerates us and makes us new creatures, causing us to live new life and freeing us from the slavery of sin” (Belgic Confession, Article 24), we plead for his power to continue this work. The Holy Spirit restores us into God’s image “so that with our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us...” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86). We come to know, therefore, that our growth in holy living will not occur without the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for Opening of Worship in Advent
Spirit of God, you who stooped to our weakness, conceiving our Lord Jesus Christ by the Virgin Mary, we did not ask for angel visitants or opening skies, but you sent Gabriel to Mary and you opened the skies to the heavenly host praising God and saying “Glory to God and peace on earth.”  Take the dimness of our soul away so that we may love you as the angels love, singing of your glory and longing for your peace on earth, through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

A Prayer of Confession and Assurance (Pronouns may be converted to plurals)
Spirit of God, you know my heart because you dwell within it.  You know my heart pulses with gratitude, but also with resentment.  You know my heart pulses in satisfaction, but also in anger.  You know my heart pulses to the songs of angels but also to the whispers of demons.  Wean my heart from sin; through all its pulses move so that I may love you as I ought to love, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

A Prayer of Confession and Assurance
We confess to you, Holy God, that our hearts cling to things that move us away from you and close to futility and sorrow.  Our hearts cling to people who are not good for us and to securities that cannot save us.  Our hearts cling to a past that cannot come again.  Our hearts cling to a future that cannot come at all.   In our folly, let us see the cross.  There teach our hearts to cling, that seeking you, we may find joy at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

B♭ Major


Hymn Story/Background

This hymn is an intense, personal prayer for the working of the Holy Spirit (st. 1), for illumination (st. 2), for more fervent love for Christ (st. 3), for greater holiness in our walk with the Lord (st. 4), and for the fullness of the Spirit (st. 5). The first line was changed from "Spirit of God, descend upon my heart" to "Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart."
This text was ascribed posthumously to George Croly when it was published in Charles Rogers's Lyra Britannica (1867).
MORECAMBE was composed in 1870 by Frederick C. Atkinson as a setting for Henry Lyte's "Abide with Me." It was first published in G. S. Barrett and E.J. Hopkins's Congregational Church Hymnal (1887). The tune is named for a coastal town on Morecambe Bay near Lancaster, England, a town not far from Bradford, where Atkinson served as organist.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

George Croly (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1780; d. Holborn, London, England, 1860) was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After serving in Irish Anglican churches from 1804-1810, he moved to London and began a successful literary career as poet, novelist, conservative journalist, and editor of The Universal Review. In 1835 he returned to pastoral work and served a poor parish in London, where he became a very popular preacher. Croly published a number of his hymns in a collection he edited, Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship (1854).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

As a boy Frederick C. Atkinson (b. Norwich, England, 1841; d. East Dereham, England, 1896) was a chorister and assistant organist at Norwich Cathedral. In 1867 he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge and then served as organist and choirmaster in St. Luke's Church, Manningham, Bradford. He also held that position at Norwich Cathedral and at St. Mary's Parish Church in Lewisham. Atkinson wrote hymn tunes, anthems, and complete Anglican services, as well as songs and piano pieces.
— Bert Polman