Hymn of the Week

by Jeff Mowery

Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord

Teach me thy way, O Lord, teach me thy way;
Thy guiding grace afford—teach me thy way.
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
lead me with heavenly light, teach me thy way.

When I am sad at heart, teach me thy way;
When earthly joys depart, teach me thy way.
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
in failure or success, teach me thy way.

When doubts and fears arise, teach me thy way;
When storm clouds fill the skies, teach me thy way.
Shine through the wind and rain, through sorrow, grief and pain;
make now my pathway plain, teach me thy way.

Long as my life shall last, teach me thy way;
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me thy way.
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
until the crown is won, teach me thy way.

Written in the early 20th century by Benjamin Ramsey, this hymn is a prayer that the Lord teach us His way.  This prayer is one that you will find several times in the Psalms.  Here are a few examples:
  • Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
  • Psalm 27:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
  • Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
  • Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

    I find it interesting that the Psalmist and the author of this hymn are not asking to be taught the Word of God (which I am sure they had a desire to know more of), but they are asking that they be able to learn the ways of God.  You see a person’s words can be enhanced by an understanding of their ways.  I can have someone like my friend Max Morris write down on paper “How to minister to people in a nursing home.”  His words would be insightful.  His written guidance would be meaningful.  But do you know the best way for me to learn how he ministers to those folks? To go with him and learn of his ways.  To watch him in difficult circumstances.  To know when to speak and when to be quiet.  To understand when to laugh and when to cry.  I could learn so much more by understanding his words and his ways.  The same is true of the Lord.  It is vitally important to be in the Word and to know the Word.  But it is also vitally important to have the Lord show us His ways.  To let the Holy Spirit be our guide as we apply the Word to our daily life.  What power comes from knowing His Words and His Way!
    Couple of comments on the lyrics:
    • To walk aright – I don’t know if this is just an old English word or not, but I like the word “aright.”  Dictionary.com defines “aright” as “rightly, correctly, properly.”  We are called to be a holy people.  A royal priesthood.  Set apart and peculiar.  I like what the Psalmist said in Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”  Proverbs 14:2 tells us He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD:”  I hope your desire today is to let the Lord teach you to walk aright.
    • In hours of loneliness – I find it interesting that the author says “hours of loneliness.”  He doesn’t say seconds or minutes.  He probably could have used days or months.  He realizes that there are times when we experience significant periods of loneliness.  It is an encouragement to me that we have a Savior who experienced loneliness.  Sometimes He chose to be alone and other times He was left alone.  The Bible honestly records the pain and the hurt Jesus felt in those times of loneliness.  Can’t you hear the pain in His voice when He asked the disciples – Couldn’t you watch with me one hour?  In those times of pain and despair, He felt lonely.  But as the author reminds us, we can ask Him to teach us His way in dealing with issues like loneliness, distress, and sadness.  We can ask Him for help and strength and comfort — and yes, for instruction during those difficult times.


    Have you ever been told that you do something like your mother or father?  For example, I have been told that I have several of the same kinds of mannerisms as my Dad.  Driving a car, rolling a bowling ball, or even a certain way I hold my hands.  I don’t know if these are genetic traits I inherited, or if they are some things I picked up from watching him as a child.  Alistair Begg once told the story of shining shoes.  He was shining his shoes one day and his daughter asked where he learned how to do that.  Was it something he learned in school?  Did the shoeshine kit come with a set of instructions.  He replied, “Oh no.  I learned this from watching my father.”  He learned how to put the polish on from watching his father.  He learned how to hold the brush from watching his father.  He learned what to do in order to shine shoes properly from watching his father.  It wasn’t in a manual.  It wasn’t contained in a set of instructions.  It came from spending time with his father and learning from his ways.  He told her that if she could watch the two of them side by side that he was confident that they would do everything the same way.

    I don’t know about you, but I sure could stand to learn a few things by imitating my Heavenly Father.  By spending time with Him and His Word.  By praying the prayer found in this great song – Lord, teach me Thy way.  I hope that this is your prayer today.