“WE BOW DOWN IN REVERENCE”
“Thou hast heard my voice; hide not Thine ear at my prayer” (Lam. 3:56)
INTRO.: A hymn which asks the Lord to hear our voice and not hide His ear from our prayer is “We Bow Down in Reverence” (#599 in Hymns for Worship Revised). The text was written and the tune was composed both by Glenda Barnhart Schales. The arrangement was made by R. J. Stevens (1927-2012). The song was copyrighted in 1989 and first published in Hymns for Worship Revised, edited by Stevens and Dane K. Shepard. Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church for use in churches of Christ, the song appears in the 1998 Hymn Supplement Let the Whole Creation Cry Alleluia published by the Columbia Hymn Association; and the 2010 Songs for Worship and Praise edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.
The song centers upon the thought of our prayers to God.
I. Stanza 1 appeals to His holiness
Please hear our prayer, holy God,
O let our words come to Thee.
A. Children of God want God to hear their prayers: Ps. 4:1 (the original read, “Oh hear our prayer…Oh let our words…”)
B. It is to a holy God that we pray: Ps. 99:9
C. Our prayers take the form of words which we want to be acceptable to Him: Ps. 19:14
II. Stanza 2 appeals to His love
Now we approach in Thy love;
We know Thou hearest our plea.
A. Prayer is one way in which the child of God approaches or has access to the heavenly Father: Eph. 2:18
B. This access is made possible because of God’s love in sending Jesus: Jn. 3:16
C. If we ask according to His will, we know that He hears us: 1 Jn. 5:14
III. Stanza 3 appeals to His greatness
For humbly now do we bow
Before Thy throne praising Thee.
A. Because God is so great, we must come to Him humbly: 1 Pet. 5:6
B. This humility is symbolized by bowing to Him: Eph. 3:14
C. Only in this way can we come before the throne of such a great God: Heb. 4:16
CONCL.: The chorus, which is more of a refrain attached to each stanza,
We bow down (in thy presence and seek Thee) in reverence
For we believe (in Thee).
This is a very short song, and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but in comparison to even the shorter hymns of the past, there is just not a lot of substance here, primarily due to the repetition of the chorus, to provide for much of an exhaustive in-depth hymn study. However, whenever we do go to God in prayer, we need to be reminded that “We Bow Down in Reverence.”