In 2017, the church I attend has set a theme of prayer and loving our neighbors–that’s what the big banner on the front of the church you can see in the video says. The last few sermons have been about prayer, and we’ve responded by singing this song, “Constant in Prayer”. Most of the songs we sing are translations of Western songs, but sometimes we sing really beautiful Chinese songs. This one was written by Tzu-chen Chao in 1931 (translated by Andrew T. Roy in 1995) and is a traditional Chinese melody. I took a video of the congregation singing it so you can get a glimpse of the church at worship. The English translation is below the video.
Teach me, O Lord, to constantly pray, I open my heart to you.
According to your promises, grant me mercy, Lord, and hear!
Be my guide, for I’m knocking now, open the door and lead me thro’!
Here, before You, I cannot hide, weighted with sin I draw near.
O gracious Saviour, know me well; with costly blood purify.
Make my heart so clean within, that I’ll hear you when you call.
Sweeter than honey your teachings are, your law more gold can buy.
May all creation obey your will, may your love be shared by all.
Lord, I beseech you to give me your aid, in sharing your great good news.
I want to be a witness for you, show more neighbours loving care!
My heart and tongue so dull and so slow, in your love, you still can use.
Pray transform my works and deeds; help me witness ev’rywhere. Amen.
Translation found in The New Hymnal: English-Chinese Bilingual Edition, 1999 by National TSPM & CCC