#145 Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire

Music & voice:
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Music only:
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Lyrics:

1. Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

2. Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

3. Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.

4. Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heav’n with prayer.

5. Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, “Behold, he prays!”

6. The Saints in prayer appear as one
In word and deed and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Their fellowship they find.

7. Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus at the Father’s throne
For sinners intercedes.

8. O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod;
Lord, teach us how to pray.

Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854
Music: George Careless, 1839-1932

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: James Montgomery

James Montgomery (4 November 1771 – 30 April 1854) was a British editorhymnwriter and poet. He was particularly associated with humanitarian causes such as the campaigns to abolish slavery and to end the exploitation of child chimney sweeps.

Music By: George Careless

George Edward Percy Careless (September 24, 1839 – March 5, 1932) was a prominent Latter-day Saint composer and conductor.

Careless was born in LondonEngland.[1] As a child he studied at the Royal Academy in London. He performed at Exeter HallDrury Lane and the Crystal Palace.

In the early 1860s Careless joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 1864 he immigrated to Utah Territory. It was while on the ship crossing the ocean that he wrote a musical arrangement for Parley P. Pratt‘s hymn The Morning Breaks.

Shortly after coming to Salt Lake City, Careless became the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as of the Salt Lake Theatre orchestra. He also conducted performances by the Salt Lake Opera Company. Among his students was the future conductor of the Tabernacle choir, J. Spencer Cornwall.[2]

Besides The Morning Breaks (hymn #1), Careless also composed the music to the following hymns in the 1985 Latter-day Saint hymnal: #40 “Arise, O Glorious Zion”, #122 “Though Deepening Trials”, #145 “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”, #150 “O Thou Kind and Gracious Father”, #178 “O Lord of Hosts”, #186 “Again We Meet Around the Board”, #191 “Behold the Great Redeemer Died” and #192 “He Died! The Great Redeemer Died”.