"Speak O Lord" lyrics

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Puritan Board Freshman
I just read the lyrics to this song, and wondered if anyone else has the same thoughts I do about them. Seems to me, singing the imperative of "Speak O Lord" is out of place for us to be telling God to speak, when he has already spoken all that is necessary for life and godliness.

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow'r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.


Puritan Board Senior
singing the imperative of "Speak O Lord" is out of place for us to be telling God to speak
What, God isn't still speaking today???

We often pray, speak to us by Your Word, give us ears to hear, may Your Spirit illumine and apply these truths to our hearts, so why shouldn't we also sing it?


Puritan Board Junior
We sing the hymn before hearing the Preached Word, which seems the intent of the hymn. In the fullest Reformed sense, God still speaks through his Word preached.

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
From the Trinity Hymnal:

Stand up, O God, be present now

1 Stand up, O God, be present now,
and all who hate you, let them run like driven smoke,
like melting wax, bound for destruction, doomed to die.
But let the righteous sing and dance,
yes, sing and dance and shout for joy,
for he who rides upon the clouds is coming,
as he came of old. His justice vindicates the oppresed,
he frees the pris'ner, bring him home.

Stand up, O God, be present now,
and we will sing and shout for joy.

2 Stand up, O God, be present now,
as once on Sinai you were heard
by those who left the prison's chain,
who crossed the sea and faced the sand.
They ate the manna, drank from springs
provided by your gracious love.
They watched as mighty armies fled,
and so they gained the promised land.
Now, marching on to Zion's mount,
we see the heav'nly hosts descend. (Refrain)

3 Stand up, O God, be present now,
and we, your people, will rejoice,
for you have saved us from the pit,
for you have brought us back
with choirs and music, young and old.
Rebuke the godless, cast them down
till humbled, they for mercy call;
then men shall listen for your voice
as riding through the heav'ns you come. (Refrain)
Is this not the same idea?

I know that when most Christians read God's Word it is with the full expectation that God will speak His truth to them. When they go to worship to sit under godly preaching, it is with the same expectation. When they pray, it with the hope that God will indeed act upon their requests (rightly presented).

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It's fine to express a willingness to listen by inviting God to speak. Think of the boy Samuel. It shouldn't be taken as ordering God around, nor as if we were ignoring his Word. I suppose it might be bad if we took it one of those ways... and perhaps some people do... but it seems we can sing that song in a good way, too.

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
Teach me, O Lord, the perfect way
of thy precepts divine,
And to observe it to the end
I shall my heart incline.
(Ps 119:33, Scottish Psalter)

"Speak O Lord" doesn't really seem much different from the words of Scripture.


Puritan Board Freshman
The difference I see is, in telling God to speak - we are expecting a response from Him in words - which, if we believe the canon is closed and there is no further new revelation for this era of the church age, is telling God to do something we really don't expect Him to do, because He has already done it. I did a word search for "Speak O Lord" - and all I found was the reference to Samuel, where Eli told him to respond to God's specific calling of Samuel in that way. Have I missed other Biblical references? The issue here, I think, is different than "standing" or "teaching".


Puritan Board Graduate
That is actually one of my favorite hymns. I don't think it's an audible voice we're talking about. We're talking about His working through us with the Holy Spirit. I find lots of imperatives in the Psalms.

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
From John Piper:

Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o’clock. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.
Go to the link below for the rest of the article. I believe that God speaks in this way all the time.
The Morning I Heard the Voice of God


Puritan Board Freshman
I think you are right. As my son just pointed out - that as long as it is tied (as it appears to be) to His Holy Word, this is okay. Thank you for your input.
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