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My Faith Looks Up To Thee

My Faith Looks Up To Thee

Have you ever found yourself in just the right place at just the right time? Usually, when that happens, it causes us to smile or chuckle. And then, sometimes it is a divine appointment that changes your life. That’s what happened to Ray Palmer.

Ray was a teacher at a women’s school and a student of theology but his real love was poetry. He would often write down his words and carry them with him for later reading. One day, at the age of 22, Ray was driven to his knees in prayer and penned several lines of praise and poetry, being overcome with the incredible mercy of God.

In his account of the writing of the poem, he said, "I gave form to what I felt, by writing, with little effort, the stanzas. I recollect I wrote them with tender emotion and ended the last line with tears."

The poem meant so much to him that he carried those words with him for years. And then, in 1832, he ran into Dr. Lowell Mason on a street corner. Dr. Mason saw his old friend and told him that he was compiling a collection of hymns and asked if he knew of anything that might be worth looking at.

Ray reached into his pocket and took out his tattered copy of his lyrical poem which he had titled “My Faith Looks Up To Thee.” Dr. Mason immediately recognized the importance of Ray’s work. He copied it and told Ray that no matter what else he achieved in life, he would be known for those written lines. Later that evening, Dr. Mason was moved by those words to write the tune that now accompanies the hymn.

Today, “My Faith Looks Up To Thee” is a standard in almost every hymnal. Here is the hymn that Doctors Palmer and Mason handed down to you and I over 200 years ago.

My Faith Looks Up To Thee

1 My faith looks up to Thee,

Thou Lamb of Calvary,

Savior Divine!

Now hear me while I pray,

Take all my guilt away;

O let me from this day

Be wholly Thine.

2 May Thy rich grace impart,

Strength to my fainting heart,

My zeal inspire;

As Thou hast died for me,

O may my love to Thee

Pure, warm, and changeless be,

A living fire.

3 While life’s dark maze I tread,

And griefs around me spread,

Be Thou my guide;

Bid darkness turn to day,

Wipe sorrow’s tears away,

Nor let me ever stray

From Thee aside.

4 When ends life's transient dream, When death’s cold, sullen stream

Shall o'er me roll,

Blest Savior, then in love,

Fear and distrust remove;

O bear me safe above,

A ransomed soul.

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