Think about your favourite hymns – Almost all are prayers of some kind – prayers of praise, or reflection or request. For today I invite you to consider the hymn ‘I cannot tell’ – you can find a version here

I cannot tell why He Whom angels worship Should set His love upon the sons of men

Or why as a shepherd, He should seek the wand’rers To bring them back, they know not how or when But this I know: that He was born of Mary

When Bethl’hem’s manger was His only home And that He lived at Nazareth and laboured

And so the Saviour, Saviour of the world is come

I cannot tell how silently He suffered

As with His peace, He graced the place of tears Or His heart upon the cross was broken

The crown of pain to three and thirty years But this I know: He heals the brokenhearted And stays our sin and calms our lurking fear And lifts the burden from the heavy-laden

For yet the Saviour, Saviour of the world is here

I cannot tell how He will win the nations How He will claim His earthly heritage How to satisfy the needs and aspirations Of east and west, of sinner and of sage

But this I know: all flesh shall see His glory And He shall reap the harvest He has sown

And some glad day His sun will shine in splendour When He, the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is known

I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship When at His bidding every storm is stilled Or who can say how great the jubilation

When all the hearts of men with love are filled But this I know: the skies will thrill with rapture And myriad, myriad human voices sing

And earth to heaven and heaven to earth will answer At last the Saviour, Saviour of the world is king

I like this hymn because it puts the Gospel message in 4 verses. The first 2 verses go through Jesus’ life. I see verse 2 as a prayer. It places us at the foot of the cross, praying for healing, salvation and peace in our lives. The third verse how that impacts on us and the world around us a wider effect of the Gospel and finally a vision of heaven. Incarnation, presence, recognition, salvation. It gives a message of hope to a troubled world. Well, that’s what I think, what about you?

Here is an additional link to something I often listen to, a different kind of spiritual worship, and prayer. If you have time see what you think.

Think of the words of your favourite hymns – sing them or listen to them, and pray them.