Bestow, dear Lord, upon our young,
The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.
Grace is a plant, wherever it grows,
Of pure and heavenly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit.
You careless ones, oh hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love;
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.
True, you are the young, but there’s a stone
Within the youngest breast,
Or half the crimes which you have done,
Would rob you of your rest.
For you our public prayer is made,
Oh, join our public prayer!
For you the sacred tear is shed,
Oh, shed yourselves a tear!
We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit’s power to teach;
You cannot be too young to love
That Jesus whom we preach.
Adapted from John Newton’s “Prayer for Youth”