754

Lord, Speak to Me that I May Speak

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

"Lord, Speak to Me" is a prayer that God will speak to, lead, and teach each of us so that we may do the same to others who need Jesus Christ (st. 1-3). The text also express­es our commitment to full-time kingdom service ("use me, Lord . . . just as you will, and when, and where") , an ongoing task that ultimately leads us to eternal "rest," 'Joy," and "glory" (st. 5).
 
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song emphasizes our need to listen well, and includes a call to ourselves and others to receive it as God’s truth. Such prayers and exhortations implement the convictions of Belgic Confession, Article 24 and Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 32: “The Bible is the Word of God, the record and tool of his redeeming work. It is the Word of truth, breath of God, fully reliable in leading us to know God and to walk with Jesus Christ in new life.”

Additional Prayers

A Petition
O God, original fountain of good, we have no goods of our own. Any authentic word we speak we heard from you. Any leading of the lost is by your map. Any food we offer comes from shelves you stocked. Fill us with your fullness Lord until our heart overflows, until our heart overflows. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

Name
CANONBURY
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
8.8.8.8

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

Francis R. Havergal wrote this text at Winterdyne, England, on April 28, 1872. With the heading "A Worker's Prayer" and with a reference to Romans 14:7 ("none of us lives to himself alone"), the seven-stanza text was first published as one of William Parlane's musical leaflets. It was then republished in Havergal’s Under the Surface in 1874.
 
"Lord, Speak to Me" is a prayer that God will speak to, lead, and teach each of us so that we may do the same to others who need Jesus Christ (st. 1-4). The text also expresses our commitment to full-time kingdom service ("use me, Lord…just as you will, and when, and where"), an ongoing task that ultimately leads us to eternal "rest," 'joy," and "glory" (st. 5).
 
Derived from the fourth piano piece in Robert A. Schumann's Nachtstücke, Opus 23 (1839), CANONBURY first appeared as a hymn tune in J. Ireland Tucker's Hymnal with Tunes, Old and New (1872). The tune, whose title refers to a street and square in Islington, London, England, is often matched to Havergal's text.
 
CANONBURY has a simple binary form, which consists of two versions of the same long melody. Sing in parts, ideally with a sense of two long lines rather than four choppy phrases, possibly with a fermata at the end of the first long line.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Although her formal education was sporadic because of poor health, Frances R. Havergal (b. Astley, Worcestershire, England, 1836; d. Oystermouth, Glamorganshire, Wales, 1879) learned six foreign languages, including Greek and Hebrew, and was well read in many subjects. She began writing poetry at an early age and was also an accomplished singer and pianist. The daughter of a clergyman, she had a conversion experience at the age of fourteen and was confirmed in the Church of England in 1853. Taking seriously her own words "take my silver and my gold," she sent all her jewelry to the Church Mission Society to be sold. She also supported other charitable organizations. Her more than one hundred hymns were originally published in leaflets and later gathered into seven collections: Ministry of Song (1869), Twelve Sacred Songs for Little Singers (1870), Under the Surface (1874), Loyal Responses (1878), Life Mosaic (1879), Life Chords (1880), and Life Echoes (1883), as well as in one large volume, Poetical Works (1884).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Robert Schumann (b. Zwickau, Saxony, Germany, 1810; d. Endenich, near Bonn, Germany, 1856) wrote no hymn tunes himself, though a few of his lyrical melodies were adapted into hymn tunes by hymnal editors. One of the greatest musicians of the Romantic period, Schumann did not at first seem destined for a musical career. Although he was a precocious piano player, his mother and his guardian insisted that he study for a legal career. From 1828 to 1830 he studied law at Leipzig and Heidelberg Universities, but much of his time was consumed with music and poetry. From 1830 until his death Schumann devoted his life to music. After a finger injury terminated his concert career as a pianist in 1832, he turned completely to composition. Schumann composed successfully in many genres but became especially famous for his piano works and song cycles. In 1840 he married Clara Wieck, whom he had known since 1828; she was a famous pianist and composer in her own right who inspired many of Schumann's songs. He suffered from depression for much of his adult life and in 1854 after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, was admitted to a mental institution, where he later died. Schumann founded the magazine Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and edited it for ten years.
— Bert Polman
General Settings
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