“Father, We Bless Thee”

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard” (Ps. 66:8)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which encourage people to bless our God and make the voice of His praise to be heard is “Father, We Bless Thee.”  The text was written in 2009 by Wayne Steven Walker (b. 1954).  The tune (Weston) is an anonymous melody whose first appearance was with Rebecca Weston’s 1884 hymn “Father, We Thank Thee for the Night” in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by E. L. Jorgenson.  Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the tune appeared with Weston’s hymn in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2, also edited by Jorgenson; the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today this version may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.  Since I prefer another tune with the Weston hymn, composed by Daniel Batchellor, I provided these words to fit this music.

I. Stanza 1 blesses God the Father
“Father, we bless Thee for each day, And for Thy goodness on our way.
Help us in everything we do To have a faithful life and true.”
 A. We should bless the Father because He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing: Eph. 1:3
 B. One thing about the Father that motivates us to bless Him is His goodness: Jas. 1:17
 C. As we bless Him, we also ask Him to help us in everything that we do to be faithful to Him: Rev. 2:10

II. Stanza 2 blesses Jesus the Son
“Jesus, we bless Him, Lord on high, Who guides us with His watchful eye.
We ask His watching through each night To give us inner peace and light.”
 A. We should bless Jesus because He is Lord on high: Acts 2:34-36
 B. One thing about the Son that motivates us to bless Him is His guidance, because no one can come to the Father except through Him: Jn. 14:6
 C. As we bless Him, we should also desire that He would watch over us, even through the night, so that we can have His peace and light in our hearts:

III. Stanza 3 blesses the Holy Spirit
“Spirit, we bless Him for the word Which we have read and we have heard.
Its teachings are so great and fair, And we should follow them with care.”
 A. We should bless the Spirit because He also is the divine Comforter: Jn. 16:7-13
 B. One thing about the Spirit that motivates us to bless Him is His word, which is His sword through which He accomplishes His work: Eph. 6:17
 C. As we bless Him, we should also strive to follow His teachings in the scriptures because they furnish us to every good work: 2 Tim. 3:16-17

IV. Stanza 4 blesses the entire Godhead
“Praise to the Father, God above; Praise to the Son sent by His love;
Praise to the Holy Ghost divine; Eternal praise be ever Thine!”
 A. We bless the Father because He is God above: 1 Cor. 8:6
 B. We bless the Son because He was sent through the love of the Father: Jn. 3:16
 C. We bless the Holy Ghost because He is divine: Acts 5:3-4

     CONCL.:  When we “praise God” we are, in effect, praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit since all three are divine.  The last line of Thomas Ken’s famous doxology says, “Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”  However, some brethren object to songs which actually address praise directly to the Spirit, and some even object to songs which actually address praise directly to Jesus.  They evidently feel that doing so is the same as praying to Jesus and/or the Spirit.  However, singing and praying are two different acts of worship (1 Cor. 14:15).  Therefore, while I would agree that we should address our prayers to the Father, I do not believe that singing songs which address Jesus or the Spirit and merely call on them to do what the scriptures teach that they may do violates any principle of scripture.  However, in the hope of producing a song which all brethren can sing in good conscience, I have consciously worded stanzas two and three, “Jesus, we bless Him,” and “Spirit, we bless Him,” while beginning the song, “Father, We Bless Thee.”


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