At my former church, the Bethesda Baptist Church of New Rochelle, we usually sang a hymn before entering into our time of prayer. It was always Spirit led, never printed in the bulletin. The hymns were sung to focus our attention on the presence of God as we made our way to the altar. One of my favorite songs of preparation was "O for a Closer Walk with God" written by William Cowper. I cannot speak exactly to what I love about this hymn, but every time I hear it my soul, and my feet, are drawn away from the cares of the world and towards the sweet presence of God. As you meditate on the words of the hymn, and listen to the rendition by the Carolina Youth for Christ, my prayer is that something within you would be quickened to walk more closely with God.
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.
Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.