A Prayer of the Afflicted

Hear me, O God, nor hide thy face

Author: Isaac Watts
Published in 62 hymnals

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Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 Hear me, O God, nor hide thy face;
But answer, lest I die;
Hast thou not built a throne of grace
To hear when sinners cry?

2 My days are wasted like the smoke
Dissolving in the air;
My strength is dri'd, my heart is broke,
And sinking in despair.

3 My spirits flag like with'ring grass
Burnt with excessive heat;
In secret groans my minutes pass,
And I forget to eat.

4 As on some lonely building’s top
The sparrow tells her moan,
Far from the tents of joy and hope
I sit and grieve alone.

5 My soul is like a wilderness
Where beasts of midnight howl;
There the sad raven finds her place,
And where the screaming owl.

6 Dark, dismal thoughts and boding fears
Dwell in my troubled breast;
While sharp reproaches wound my ears,
Nor give my spirit rest.

7 My cup is mingled with my woes,
And tears are my repast;
My daily bread, like ashes grows
Unpleasant to my taste.

8 Sense can afford no real joy
To souls that feel thy frown;
Lord ’twas thy hand advanced me high
Thy hand hath cast me down.

9 My looks like wither'd leaves appear;
And life’s declining light
Grows faint as ev'ning shadows are
That vanish into night.

10 But thou for ever art the same,
O my eternal God;
Ages to come shall know thy name,
And spread thy works abroad.

11 Thou wilt arise, and show thy face,
Nor will my Lord delay
Beyond th’appointed hour of grace,
That long expected day.

12 He hears his saints, he knows their cry,
And by mysterious ways
Redeems the pris'ners, doom'd to die,
And fills their tongues with praise.

Source: Church Hymn Book: consisting of newly composed hymns with the addition of hymns and psalms, from other authors, carefully adapted for the use of public worship, and many other occasions (1st ed.) #P.CII.I

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hear me, O God, nor hide thy face
Title: A Prayer of the Afflicted
Author: Isaac Watts
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


ARUNDEL (11235)



ST. MATTHEW was published in the Supplement to the New Version of Psalms by Dr. Brady and Mr. Tate (1708), where it was set to Psalm 33 and noted as a new tune. The editor of the Supplement, William Croft (PHH 149), may be the composer of ST. MATTHEW. One of the longer British psalm tunes, it has a…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2235

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