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The Origins of a Favorite Hymn

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the God of creation!

My heart is longing to offer up sweet adoration.

Melody make; dulcimer, harp, now awake.

Sound forth your praise, ev'ry nation.

Praise the Almighty, o'er all life so wondrously reigning,

and, as on wings of an eagle, uplifting, sustaining.

Have you not seen? All that is needful has been

sent by God's gracious ordaining.

Praise the Almighty, who prospers your work and defends you;

see from the heavens the showers of mercy God sends you.

Ponder anew what the Almighty can do;

Infinite Love here befriends you.

Praise the Almighty! In wonder my spirit is soaring!

All that has life and breath, come now with praises outpouring.

Let the amen sound from God's people again,

gladly forever adoring.

- Joachim Neander, tr. composite © Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. #A-702599.

As a student in Bremen, Germany, Joachim Neander lived a godless life. Though both his father and grandfather were Lutheran ministers, Joachim wasted his life in immorality. Then, when Neander was twenty, a preacher named Under-Eyke came to Bremen. Neander went to the meeting intending to ridicule the preacher, but instead he was converted.

Four years later he became headmaster of a school in Düsseldorf, and during his time there he wrote more than sixty hymns. Because of his strong Christian views and his evangelistic activities, he displeased the authorities and was eventually removed from his position.

Despite the tensions, he wrote many hymns of praise. He often wandered through the valleys and hills near Düsseldorf, communing with his Lord. After losing his position at the school, he lived for a time in a cave and continued to write hymns. He died very young, at the age of thirty, but he left behind him a legacy of praise to God. †

From: The One Year Book of Hymns compiled and edited by Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton © 1995. Devotions written by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


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