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Spirit of the Living God
Spirit of the living god, fall fresh on me, representative text, author (st. 1): daniel iverson.
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- Singing Joy: for Girls and boys #63
African American Heritage Hymnal #320
African methodist episcopal church hymnal #619.
- Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #263
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #675
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- Baptist Hymnal (1975 ed) #136
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #244
Baptist hymnal 2008 #330, celebrating grace hymnal #234, chalice hymnal #259.
- Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #288
- 찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship: the Korean-English Presbyterian hymnal and service book #214
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #730
- Santo, Santo, Santo: cantos para el pueblo de Dios = Holy, Holy, Holy: songs for the people of God #555
Scripture References: all st. = Acts 10:44
The composite hymn text is a prayer for the Holy Spirit to work renewal in the individual heart (st. 1) and to make these renewed people one in love and service (st. 2).
Daniel Iverson (b. Brunswick, GA, 1890; d. Asheville, NC, 1977) wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other services. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of the century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson.
Iverson studied at the University of Georgia, Moody Bible Institute, Columbia Theological Seminary, and the University of South Carolina. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1914, he served congregations in Georgia and in North and South Carolina. In 1927 he founded the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, and served there until his retirement in 1951. An evangelist as well as a preacher, Iverson planted seven new congregations during his ministry in Miami.
Michael Baughen (b. Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, 1930) added a second stanza to the text in 1980. That stanza's emphasis on the Spirit moving “among us all,” provides a necessary complement to the first stanza's focus on the Spirit's work in the individual ("fall afresh on me"). The stanzas were first published together in the British Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
Baughen was a priest in the Church of England since 1964 and Bishop of Chester from 1982 until he retired in 1996. He now lives in London. Educated at London University and Oak Hill Theological College, he served as rector of Holy Trinity, Church in Rushholme, Manchester (1964-1970), and All Saints, Langham Place, London (1970-1982). Baughen has written four books including Chained to the Gospel (1986) and The Prayer Principle (1981). He also founded the Jubilate Group and served as editor of four hymnals: Youth Praise (1966), Youth Praise II (1969), Psalm Praise (1973), and Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
Liturgical Use: Pentecost; renewal services; profession of faith; ordination; special dedication/consecration of persons and organizations to Christian ministry; in worship services of confession/forgiveness or as a sung prayer for illumination; as a frame around the congregational prayers–sing stanza 1 at the beginning and stanza 2 at the conclusion of spoken prayers.
-- Psalter Hymnal Handbook , 1988
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A separate copy of this score must be purchased for each choir member. If this score will be projected or included in a bulletin, usage must be reported to a licensing agent (e.g. CCLI, OneLicense, etc).
- Audio recording from Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #288
- Audio recording from Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #749
- MIDI file from Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #424
- Audio recording from The United Methodist Hymnal #393
- MIDI file from With Heart and Voice: songs for all God's children #108
Ancient and Modern #263
Church family worship #317, church hymnal, fifth edition #310, church hymnary (4th ed.) #619, complete anglican hymns old and new #615, complete mission praise #613, cpwi hymnal #852.
Glory to God #288
Hymnal #349, hymns for a pilgrim people #226, hymns for today's church (2nd ed.) #s.23, hymns of faith #83, hymns of glory, songs of praise #619, hymns of promise #71, lead me, guide me (2nd ed.) #325, lift every voice and sing ii #115, lift up your hearts #749, living hymns #fd, one lord, one faith, one baptism #139, praise our songs and hymns #90.
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #424
Rejoice hymns #519, renew songs and hymns for blended worship #90, santo, santo, santo #555.
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #672
Sing and rejoice #94, sing joyfully #150, singing the faith #395, songs for life #184, songs of zion #226, soul-stirring songs and hymns (rev. ed.) #344, the a.m.e. zion hymnal #692, the book of praise #400, the celebration hymnal #389, the christian life hymnal #221, the covenant hymnal #276, the hymnal for worship and celebration #247, the new century hymnal #283, the new national baptist hymnal (21st century edition) #133, the presbyterian hymnal #322, the song book of the salvation army #c53, the united methodist hymnal #393, the united methodist hymnal music supplement #212.
The Worshiping Church #297
This far by faith #101, total praise #315, trinity hymnal (rev. ed.) #726, voices together #740, voices united #376, with heart and voice #108, worship and rejoice #492, worship in song #144, yes, lord #197, 찬송과 예배 = chansong gwa yebae = come, let us worship #214.
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Spirit of the Living God
Vertical worship - church songs.
Spirit of the Living God Spirit of the Living God We only want to hear Your voice We're hanging on every word
Spirit of the Living God Spirit of the Living God We want to know You More and more We're hanging on every word
Cause when You speak When You move When you do what only You can do It changes us It changes what we see And what we seek
When You come in the room When You do what only You can do It changes us it changes what we see And what we seek
Spirit of the Living God Spirit of the Living God We're leaning into all you are Everything else can wait
Spirit of the Living God Spirit of the Living God Come now and breath Upon our hearts Come now and have Your way
When you move You move all our fears When you move You move us to tears
When You fall We fall on our knees When You fall We fall at Your feet
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Spirit of the Living God
Spirit of the Living God Fall fresh on me Spirit of the Living God Fall fresh on me Melt me mold me Fill me use me Spirit of the Living God Fall fresh on me
The Story Behind Spirit of the Living God
According to hymnary.org , "Daniel Iverson wrote the first stanza and tune of this hymn after hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit during an evangelism crusade by the George Stephans Evangelistic Team in Orlando, Florida, 1926. The hymn was sung at the crusade and then printed in leaflets for use at other services. Published anonymously in Robert H. Coleman's Revival Songs (1929) with alterations in the tune, this short hymn gained much popularity by the middle of the century. Since the 1960s it has again been properly credited to Iverson."
2 Corinthians 3:3 ~ "And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
John 14:26 ~ "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
Photo credit: GettyImages/BrianAJackson
Scripture calls us in Romans to celebrate and empathize with those around us. People are celebrating exciting news, and we join in the rejoicing. However, not every day is going to be a walk in the park. When others come to us in mourning, the response of a believer in Christ should be to mourn with them.
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Home Worship Planning History of Hymns History of Hymns: 'Spirit of the Living God'
November 29, 2022
History of Hymns: 'Spirit of the Living God'
By C. Michael Hawn
"Spirit of the Living God" Daniel Iverson The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 393
Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.
This is one of the most long-lasting and widely used choruses in Christian worship. Every aspect of the song embodies a simple sincerity.
The melody encompasses only five notes, with every pitch in its place. The harmonies can be played by a very modestly skilled pianist, and three of the four lines repeat the same nine words. Yet for many, the straightforward petitions of this song draw the singer into an attitude of prayer.
Despite its simplicity and sincerity, numerous versions concerning the song’s origins developed over the years. Carl P. Daw Jr. offers this account:
When he wrote this text in 1926, the author was the pastor of Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church in Tarboro, North Carolina. He apparently began working on it in his study at the church, because there is now a plaque in that room commemorating the text’s origins. The stimulus for the central petitions seems to have been his encounter with Jeremiah 18:1–6, which describes the prophet’s visit to the potter’s house. From that passage emerged “Melt me; mold me; fill me; use me” (which also sound as if they might have been the organizing points of a sermon). (Daw, 2016, p. 291)
Iverson then traveled to Orlando, Florida, in February of that year where evangelist George T. Stephens was conducting a revival. Another evangelist on the team, Dr. Barron, a physician from Columbia, South Carolina, impressed Iverson with his sermon on the Holy Spirit. Taking the kernel from earlier, the composer when went to First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, and found a piano. Miss Birdie Loes, the pianist for Stephens’ evangelistic team, notated the music on manuscript paper. The song leader for the team, E. Powell Lee, introduced it that evening and sang it throughout the evangelistic campaign. (Reynolds, 1976, p. 199)
Daniel Iverson (1890-1977) was a native of Brunswick, Georgia. Ga. He received his education at the University of Georgia in Athens, the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Columbia Theological Seminary (Columbia, South Carolina, now in Decatur, Georgia), and the University of South Carolina. As a Presbyterian minister, Iverson served churches in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. In 1927 he organized the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, Fla., remaining with this congregation until his retirement in 1951. While the inspiration for the hymn is not known for certain, it is likely that Iverson knew a hymn by Adelaide Pollard (1862-1934), “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” based on Jeremiah 18:6: “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel” (KJV). The first stanza of Pollard’s hymn uses similar language (“Mold me and make me”). The final stanza also contains a petition to the Spirit (“Fill with thy Spirit”). Pollard’s hymn was written about 25 years before Iverson’s 1926 composition. Both use a similar musical idiom. The Rev. Carlton Young, editor of The UM Hymnal , notes that the authorship of “Spirit of the Living God” was lost for a time because the song could so easily be taught without music or even printed words. It first appeared in Revival Songs (1929) in a slightly revised version that was published without the author’s permission, according to Dr. Young. (Young, 1993, p. 605) Southern Baptist gospel song composer B.B. McKinney made slight alterations and published it again in his Songs of Victory (1937). The altered version was solidified when it was published in the Baptist Hymnal (1956) without the composer’s name. E. Powell Lee, the song leader for the Stephens evangelistic team, brought Iverson’s name to light and his name was restored to the song in later printings of the Baptist Hymnal in the 1960s.
The Worshiping Church (1990), edited by Donald P. Hustad, offers a slight modification of the four central petitions: “Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.” Carlton Young suggests that this may have been the original sequence (Young, 1993, p. 605). This hymnal also contains a complementary second stanza beginning, “Spirit of the living God, move among us all,” by Anglican priest and hymn writer Michael Baughen (b. 1930). In a 2007 blog post, retired Presbyterian pastor John McCrea described his childhood in Iverson’s congregation: “I was there then, age 4, with my family. We lived a block from the church’s first building, an old rustic dance hall. Daniel’s youngest son, Bill Iverson, recently called together many old-timers to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the church . . . now occupied by a Hispanic congregation dedicated to carrying on the same message and mission.” Undoubtedly, the Spanish-language translation of Iverson’s hymn lives on in this congregation:
Santo Espiritu de Dios, ven, sobre mí. Santo Espiritu de Dios, ven sobre mí. Tómane, cámbiame, lléname, úsame. Santo Espiritu de Dios, ven sobre mí.
Carl P. Daw Jr., Glory to God: A Companion (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016).
William J. Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1976).
Carlton R. Young, Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993).
C. Michael Hawn, D.M.A., F.H.S., is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music and Adjunct Professor, and Director, Doctor of Pastoral Music Program at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
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