“I'll Praise My Maker While I've Breath” (UMH, #60)

“I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath” is a hymn originally written by Isaac Watts, but was altered by John Wesley and is widely known in that version.

WORDS

1 I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

2 How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor,
and none shall find God’s promise vain.

3 The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widowed and the parentless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

4 I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

BACKGROUND

Wikipedia: Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748) was an English hymnwriter, theologian and logician. A prolific and popular hymn writer, he was recognized as the “Father of English Hymnody,” credited with some 750 hymns.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_watts

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What characteristic United Methodist belief statements do you find in this hymn?

What phrase really speaks to your mind or heart as very important for us to understand and remember?

*Ask the participants to turn to “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath” (UMH, #60) and together read aloud this hymn. Ask the participants what this hymn tells them about God.

RESOURCES

Hymnary.org suggests numerous scripture references at http://www.hymnary.org/text/ill_praise_my_maker_with_my_breath.

Discussion questions and comments marked with an asterisk (*) are drawn from the Advanced Lay Speaker course materials Living Our United Methodist Beliefs by George Hovaness Donigian. This instructional resource is available from the Upper Room Bookstore at http://bookstore.upperroom.org/cart/upperroom/p-17972.htm?tptm=pf.

 

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