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Discovering the Holy Spirit in Hymn Ancient and Modern 239

I'm a Christian and takes inspiration from the Hymn book and this hymn is one of them. I encourage you to read on and learn more about Him

When Hymn wording is understood, knowledge is acquired

When Hymn wording is understood, knowledge is acquired

Discovery the Holy Spirit in Hymn Ancient and Modern 239

The Hymns Ancient and Modern commonly called the Hymn book is a hymnal used in the Church of England. Over the years it became widely accepted in churches all over the world, being transcribed to their pattern. The hymn book is sung in churches as a means of worship and praise for God. Its songs are well lettered, though with old English but easily understood.

Oftentimes, singing the hymn is inspirational, other times, the wordings reveal the attributes of the trinity; God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. The writer of Hymn 239, Dr. Andrew Reed, showed his marvelous understanding of the Holy Spirit by depicting His five forms in this hymnal, and transcribed it into an awe-inspiring hymn. I will talk about these forms of the Holy Spirit and how the bible consistently concurs with the writer.

Stanza 1: The Invitation

The hymn 239 introduction is “Spirit divine attend our prayer.” is captured in Zachariah 12:10, which showed the benevolence of God pouring out his Spirit of Grace, and Spirit of supplication upon the inhabitants of the earth, who will turn their hearts to focus back on his Son. The verse shows that the Holy Spirit can attend to prayers with his glorious powers when invited.

Moreover, Romans 8:26 to 27, revealed that when invited, the Holy Spirit will search the heart, and intercede for the persons rendering the prayer, because they do not know what to pray. This elucidated the last two lines of the stanza.

Stanza 2: The Light Form

The stanza reveals that the Holy Spirit attends to prayers in form of light. Daniel 2:22, identified that “Light” dwells with God and this light reveals hidden things as disclosed in lines 1 to 2, of stanza 2. This form of the Holy Spirit reveals our needs and the weaknesses holding us back.

Furthermore, John 16:8 described that this form of the Holy Spirit convinces people to abandon sin, follow after righteousness, and live in a consciousness of judgment. This according to the writer in line 3 to 4, of stanza 2 preempts where all the righteous will go.

Choristers Chanting Hymn 239

Stanza 3: The Fire Form

The book of Exodus 24: 17, revealed that God is a devouring fire, however, in Exodus 19:18, He descended “in a fire”, which meant He was accompanied by another form of the trinity. This kind of fire mentioned in Isaiah 4:4, is able to wash away sins, and purge hearts as demonstrated by Dr. Andrew Reed, showing holistic interpretation of lines 1 to 2, of stanza 3.

Furthermore, Titus 3:5 also agreed with the last two lines of the stanza three; that being a holy offering to our redeemers’ name, you must be saved by mercy, regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the fire of the Holy Spirit purges and makes holy.

Stanza 4: The Dew Form

According to the hymn, the dew blesses and concencrates every hour on prayer, and makes the barren soul rejoice owing to the power of creation. This form of the Holy Spirit revealed Him as a God of fertility and shown by Numbers 11:9. The dew descended on the camp and supernaturally created “manna”.

On the converse, the word “dew” was not mentioned in the new testament of the bible. However, the Holy Spirit came upon Virgin Mary in Luke 1:35 and she conceived by His power, creating life inside her womb. This assented to the Holy Spirit power of fertility.

Stanza 5: The Dove Form

The dove is a gentle bird and very significant; both the old and New testament of the bible. In the Old Testament, Noah sent forth the dove after the floods dried up. Unlike the Raven, the dove returned and also plucked an olive branch of her beak. Theologians argue that the scenario symbolizes the coming of the Holy Spirit and another school of thought believed that it’s symbolic of things to come.

The New Testament narrative agreed with these schools of thought in John 1:32 and Luke 3:22 which saw the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. Dr. Andrew Reed further opined in Lines 3 to 4, of Stanza 5, that this form of the Holy Spirit will make the church on earth become one like the church above, which agrees with the second school of thought of things to come

A Flying Dove

A Flying Dove

Stanza 6: The Wind

According to the hymnist, the Holy Spirit can take the form of wind and manifest the glory of God among men. Accordingly, the greatest glory of God manifested was the creation of man in his own image, and likeness found in Genesis 1:26, that occurred in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:26

And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"....

— King James version

In the New Testament, He came down as a mighty rushing wind with Pentecostal grace in Acts 2:2, to reveal the glory of God, and the glory manifested as cloven tongues of fire. Hence, the real meaning of stanza 6 was revealed in creation and on the day of Pentecost.

Stanza 7: The Closing

The writer in the last stanza presumes the world to be lost, and beckoned on the Holy Spirit to make it a home. In John 3:19, the people of the world loved darkness, and Romans 12:2, persuades the people not to love the world.

Similarly, the author closed the inspiring hymn by pleading with the Holy Spirit to descend again with His gracious power according to Zachariah 12:10.


“Spirit divine attend our prayer” is an inspirational hymn that is able to call upon the Holy Spirit to descend in peculiar forms that will particularly suit any situation. The wording is uplifting and is reassuring any person that the Holy Spirit can transform people and circumstances when invited.

Note: All bible verses were taken from King James Bible and the Hymn is the Book of Common Prayer used by the Church of England.

Knowledge is given when the Holy Spirit is encountered

Knowledge is given when the Holy Spirit is encountered

© 2020 Amarachi Nkwoada