“I Ask the Prayers of Those I Love”

"Brethren, pray for us" (1 Thess. 5.25)

     INTRO.: A hymn which is designed to encourage us to pray for others is "I Ask the Prayers of Those I Love." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Holland Lavelle Boring Sr., who was born on Mar. 15, 1905, in Robertson County, TX, and baptized in 1920 at the Holly Community by K. C. Moser. When Holland was quite young, his father taught him to read music. The Holly Community where the Borings lived had five singing school teachers, some of whom had studied under Franklin L. Eiland. Each summer they conducted a singing school, and Holland helped in some of them. In fact, at age sixteen he taught his first singing school away from home. Later, he attended a Vaughan Normal where he studied harmony under V. O. Stamps and Adger M. Pace. Others with whom he studied included C. C. Stafford, H. G. L. Busby, W. W. Combs, and Robert Vaughan. After finishing high school in Austin, TX, he attended Abilene Christian University where he recieved the B. S. degree and did some graduate work. Also, he attended the University of Texas, Sam Houston Techers College, and Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College.

     Following Boring’s marriage to Gladys Bullock of Bryan TX, in 1930, they had three sons, Holland Jr., Kenneth, and Don. For twelve years, brother Boring served as a principal in public schools then began full time work as a minister of the gospel in many Texas communities such as Lockhart, Texas, Grand Prairie, Stockdale, and elsewhere. In addition, he taught five years in private schools, was head of the music department of Columbia Christian College, became the first dean of that college, and taught one year each at Abilene Christian University and Ft. Worth Christian College. During these years, he conducted hundreds of singing schools, led singing in a number of gospel meetings, conducted vacation Bible schools, and helped to establish a number of congregations. In 1946 Edgar Furr and Austin Taylor formed a partnership to establish a summer singing school known as the “Texas Normal Singing School” in Sabinal, TX. Furr was the school’s administrator and marketing agent.  Taylor and Holland L. Boring, Sr. were the first teachers in the school. For twenty years Boring taught advanced theory, harmony, and composition. Holland Boring, Jr. and Don Boring became teachers later. This faculty of teachers was the primary instructors for the first twenty years of the school’s existence.

     After 1966 the Boring family decided to establish summer singing schools in other communities, such as the Northwest Singing Normal in Portland, OR; the Haskell Singing School in Haskell, TX; and the Foundation School of Church Music in Austin, TX. Brother Boring produced some 100 songs, about fifty of which were used in major hymnbooks.  Perhaps his best known song is "He Is Near" copyrighted in 1963 by the Firm Foundation. Furthermore, as music editor for the Firm Foundation Publishing Co. of Austin, TX, he helped in compiling the Majestic Hymnal, Hymns of Praise, and about ten other songbooks; made a number of records; and wrote several theory and harmony books, a number of poems, and several religious tracts. I have not been able to find exactly when or where "I Ask the Prayers of Those I Love" was first published. Don died in a car accident on a mountain road near Basalt, CO, about the year of 1966. Holland Sr. and Jr. both came to the end of their lives living in Portland, TX, near Corpus Christi. After establishing a church in a small town next door in Gregory. Junior died of a brain tumor in about the year of 1998, and his father died about a year later, in 1999. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons, with assistance from Boring.

     The song reminds us of the importance of praying for others as we ask others to pray for us.

I. Stanza 1 indicates that we should pray for others when they sin
"I ask the prayers of those I love, The church to intercede for me,
That God will take my sins away, And I may true and faithful be."
 A. To "intercede" means to pray on behalf of others, and the scriptures definitely teach that Christians should make intercessions for others: 1 Tim. 2.1-2
 B. One thing for which we can pray concerning others is that God will forgive them as they repent: 1 Jn. 5.16
 C. We can also pray that they will then be faithful: Rev. 2.10

II. Stanza 2 indicates that we should pray for others when they are tempted
"The road is long and strait the way; It stretches out when sight grows dim.
The prayers of faithful Christian friends Will bear my tempted soul to Him."
 A. The road that Christians travel in life is said to be strait and narrow, which implies that it has difficulties and hardships: Matt.
 B. However, we can pray for one another and know that the effective fervent prayers of the righteous avail much: Jas. 5.15
 C. We can especially pray for others when they are tempted that they not yield: Jas. 1.14-16

III. Stanza 3 indicates that we should pray for others when they are in sorrow
"To do my best, the task assigned, His mighty word with me abide;
To understand the tears that fall, I need His presence by my side."
 A. God wants us to do our best in the service that we offer to Him: 1 Cor. 15.58, Gal. 6.9
 B. Therefore, He has given His word to abide in us: Col. 3.16-17
 C. However, there are times when sorrows come and tears fall, but we can seek His presence, for ourselves and others, by going before His throne to find grace and mercy to help in time of need: Heb. 4.14-16

     CONCL.: The chorus re-emphasizes the importance of praying for others.
"For God to take my sins away, To bear my tempted soul above,
To give me strength to do His will, I ask the prayers of those I love."
God never intended for His people to try and make it through this world all by themselves. He established the local church in which we can have fellowship to admonish and exhort each others. Therefore, it helps me a great deal to live as God wants me to live when "I Ask the Prayer of Those I Love."


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