O BREATH OF LIFE
Bessie P. Head, 1850–1936
I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known. (Habakkuk 3:2)
Set us afire, Lord, stir us, we pray—while the world perishes, we go our way
Purposeless, passionless, day after day; set us afire, Lord, stir us, we pray!
When the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost for the birth of the church, it was in response to the fervent prayers of God’s people. This is still the principle for an effective ministry of any church—determined, persistent prayer for the Holy Spirit’s enabling power to accomplish our mission for God.
Vitality is essential to any Christian ministry; complacency is deadly. There must be the fervency of divine life infused into us by God the Holy Spirit. Just as a healthy vine manifests itself in producing foliage and fruit, so it is with a healthy Christian—he will bear evidence of an infectious enthusiasm for the furtherance of the gospel and a life that produces the fruits of the Spirit.
This song of pleading for Holy Spirit power was written by Mrs. Bessie Head, a member of the Church of England. She was the author of numerous hymn texts, several of which appeared in the 1937 Keswick Hymn Book, including this hymn.
It would be helpful if each believer, as well as each local church, would use this musical prayer often as a theme song. We need God’s continual reviving, renewing, refreshing, comforting, and equipping power if we are to effectively “spread the light” and meet the needs of this hour.
O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us. Revive Thy Church with life and pow’r; O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us, and fit Thy Church to meet this hour.
O Wind of God, come bend us, break us, till humbly we confess our need; then in Thy tenderness remake us, revive, restore, for this we plead.
O Breath of Love, come breathe within us, renewing thought and will and heart; Come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us, revive Thy Church in ev’ry part.
O Heart of Christ, once broken for us, ’tis there we find our strength and rest; our broken contrite hearts now solace, and let Thy waiting Church be blest.
Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating while harvest fields are vast and white? Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting. Equip Thy Church to spread the light.
For Today: Psalm 85:6; Jeremiah 20:9; Luke 11:13; Acts 3:19; Romans 5:5
Why is it that we as individual believers and as a local church easily become complacent about the things of God? What steps can be taken to change this? Carry this musical prayer with you as you reflect on this serious matter—