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Watching and Praying

Words: Nickolas Campbell, 2014
Music: tune, ELLERS, Edward J. Hopkins, 1869

United Methodist pastor and hymn writer Nickolas Campbell writes of this hymn:

"It is based on John Wesley's 'Cautions and Directions to the Greatest Professors of Methodism' and its much later follow-up/continuation pamphlet 'A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.' The first was written to identify the sins most likely to trip up those who were most earnest in living their faith, and can be sorted according to the three forms of grace and whether it is a sin against holiness of heart or holiness of life. The latter was written to show instead the effects of living fully into the three forms of grace in both holiness of heart and life.

The first half of each verse describes the sin, while the second half identifies the 'cure.' The verses follow the forms of grace (preventing, justifying, sanctifying); with holiness of heart in the odd numbered verses, and holiness of life in the even numbered verses. I have also used a description of the sins, rather than the names used by Wesley, both for clarity and sing-ability. It takes too much translation for people today to hear Pride, Enthusiasm, Antinomianism, Sins of Omission, Desiring Anything But God, and Schism!"

The hymn is suited for use during Lent (perhaps a new verse each week), confirmation, or any UM/Wesleyan emphasis Sunday.

"Watching and Praying" (Sibelius)

"Watching and Praying" (pdf)