Spending Thankful Tuesday with Sandra McCracken and Anne Steele

On this fine Thankful Tuesday I want to share with you a hymn that has been clinging to my mind (we’re talking nails dug into brain creases) this week.

I’ve been a fan of Sandra McCracken since my friend John had a crush on her when he was in college (that’d be in the year 2000). And I’ve been adoring her work in the movement of musicians bringing fresh melodies to lyrics written before the 20th century. (See Indelible Grace and Red Mountain Music.) Sometimes I feel that if these musicians were not reworking the old hymns, I don’t know if I’d be able to connect to God through music at all at this point in my life. (But that’s another post).

For now, I want to share the prayer I’m thankful for this week. In the midst of the wackiness of last week’s near apartment move, this past weekend’s lovely day with old friends, and yesterday morning’s slow dance with August around the dining room, I feel myself asking God for “a calm, a thankful heart” and “a sure and rested soul.”

Such beautiful, powerful language.  I’m making it my prayer for this Thankful Tuesday.  Listen to it here.


Father whate’er of earthly bliss
Thy sovereign hand denies
Accepted at Thy throne of grace
Let this petition rise

Let the sweet hope that thou art mine
My life and death attend
Thy presence through my journey shine
And crown my journey’s end

Give me a calm, a thankful heart
From every murmur free
The blessings of Thy grace impart
And make me live to Thee

You raise your hand to still the storms
That rage inside my head
Revive my heart with gratitude
Love quell my doubt and dread

Give me a sure and rested soul
From every fear relief
The spirit’s power and presence mine
To ever comfort me

Give me a sure, a restful heart
From every fear relief
Thy spirit’s power and presence mine
To ever comfort me.

Give me a calm, a thankful heart
From every murmur free
The blessings of thy grace impart
And make me live to thee.

Most of the lyrics were originally penned by Anne Steele in 1738, after her fiancée drowned the day before their wedding. McCracken and Chelsey Scott added a few lyrics as well.

PS I couldn’t find these lyrics typed anywhere so I apologize if my ear got any of the words wrong.

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