Spirit of the Living God

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The composite hymn text is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to work renewal in the individual heart (st. 1) and to make these renewed people one in love and service (st. 2).


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song emphasizes the action of the Christian and the church to call on God to renew our hearts through the word. These requests are based on the truths taught in Belgic Confession, Article 24: True faith is “produced in us by the hearing of God’s Word and by the work of the Holy Spirit, (and) regenerates us and makes us new creatures, causing us to live a new life and freeing us from the slavery of sin.”


Spirit of the Living God

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for Refreshment
Spirit of the living God, my thoughts have gone stale.
Fall afresh on me.
My prayers have gone flat.
Fall afresh on me.
My hopes have gone slack.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Let it happen in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord Jesus Christ,
head of the body, your church:
How grateful we are to be members of your body,
joined with you, our head.
How grateful we are to commune with you and each other—
with all those, in every time and place, that are united with you.
Encourage us now with your Spirit
so that we may live as your body in this world,
serving as your hands and your feet,
to meet the needs of the world you so love. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Spirit of the Living God

Hymn Story/Background

The composite hymn text is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to work renewal in the individual heart (st. 1) and to make these renewed people one in love and service (st. 2).
Daniel Iverson wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, in 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other services. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of the century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson.
Michael Baughen added a second stanza to the text in 1980. That stanza's emphasis on the Spirit moving “among us all,” provides a necessary complement to the first stanza's focus on the Spirit's work in the individual ("fall afresh on me"). The stanzas were first published together in the British Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
IVERSON is a simple chorus; its original melody line was altered in 1929. Southern Baptist leader Baylus B. McKinney wrote the harmony, which was published in his Songs of Victory (1937).
Sing in harmony unaccompanied or accompany with organ or guitars. When used as a frame around prayers, accompany the first line of each stanza, and then allow the singing to proceed unaccompanied.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Michael Baughen (b. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, 1930) was a priest in the Church of England since 1964 and Bishop of Chester from 1982 until he retired in 1996. He now lives in London. Educated at London University and Oak Hill Theological College, he served as rector of Holy Trinity, Church in Rushholme, Manchester (1964-1970), and All Saints, Langham Place, London (1970-1982). Baughen has written four books including Chained to the Gospel (1986) and The Prayer Principle (1981). He also founded the Jubilate Group and served as editor of four hymnals: Youth Praise (1966), Youth Praise II (1969), Psalm Praise (1973), and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

Daniel Iverson (b. Brunswick, GA, 1890; d. Asheville, NC, 1977) studied at the University of Georgia, Moody Bible Institute, Columbia Theological Seminary, and the University of South Carolina. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1914, he served congregations in Georgia and in North and South Carolina. In 1927 he founded the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, and served there until his retirement in 1951. An evangelist as well as a preacher, Iverson planted seven new congregations during his ministry in Miami.
— Bert Polman

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