God's Church is Unsleeping

During my many years of working with our hymnal as the Director of Music, I have been moved by many hymns.   I consider hymn texts to be wonderful prayer prompts. The text of the following hymn stuck me during a service in my college years.

The concept of the sun calling some to rest and awakening others as the earth turns had never been quite so vivid to me. Another aspect of that reality is that while some are saying evening and bedtime prayers, others are rising and praising God for a new day. As a result, “God’s Church is unsleeping”, keeps her watch, and “rests not now by day or night.” As a result “the voice of prayer is never silent” God is continuously hearing God’s people’s praise.

Hymn 24 (1982 Episcopal Hymnal)

Sovereign God, In the fullness of time complete your gracious work. Reconcile all things in Christ and make them new, that we may be restored in your image, renewed in your love, and serve you as sons and daughters in your kingdom. Amen.

from Healed, Restored, Forgiven, Published by Canterbury Press

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended The darkness falls at thy behest;

To thee our morning hymns ascended Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping, While earth rolls onward into light, Through all the world her watch is keeping, And rests not now by day or night.

As o'er each continent and island The dawn leads on another day, The voice of prayer is never silent, Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking Our brethren 'neath the western sky,

And hour by hour fresh lips are making Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never Like earth's proud empires, pass away; Thy Kingdom stands, and grows forever, Till all thy creatures own thy sway.

We, who are members of the new Healing Ministry Team, feel very encouraged by this text. The prayers of others around the world are supporting us while our prayers support them. God hears us when we pray and when we pray for others’ needs and concerns.

The prayer team is eager to support you through our prayers and our presence, praying with you and being open to God’s healing grace. We plan to include healing prayer immediately following the service on the second Sunday of each month, and to be available as needed.