Words: (1841-1918).

Music: Va­ter Un­ser, Geist­liche Lie­der (Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny: 1539); har­mo­ny by , 1726. Alternate tune:

  • St. Pe­ters­burg, at­trib­ut­ed to , 1825

If you know when this hymn was writ­ten

Before Thy throne, O God, we kneel;
Give us a conscience quick to feel,
A ready mind to understand
The meaning of Thy chastening hand;
Whate’er the pain and shame may be,
Bring us, O Father, nearer Thee.

Search out our hearts and make us true,
Wishful to give to all their due;
From love of pleasure, lust of gold,
From sins which make the heart grow cold,
Wean us and train us with Thy rod;
Teach us to know our faults, O God.

For sins of heedless word and deed,
For pride ambitious to succeed;
For crafty trade and subtle snare
To catch the simple unaware;
For lives bereft of purpose high,
Forgive, forgive, O Lord, we cry.

Let the fierce fires, which burn and try,
Our inmost spirits purify:
Consume the ill; purge out the shame;
O God! be with us in the flame;
A newborn people may we rise,
More pure, more true, more nobly wise.