Holy Spirit, Work Within Me

Downloadable Hymn Sheet: Holy Spirit, Work Within Me (4-part)

In a lower key: Holy Spirit, Work Within Me (4-part) C


Holy Spirit, work within me,
Prideful, selfish as I am
Full of broken, vain ambition
Full of every rebel plan
Let the love and grace of Jesus
Be my focus, be my goal
Burn within me, cleanse me, change me,
Make me holy, make me whole.


You are light and truth and beauty
Every good and noble dream
But you once walked earth among us
Tempted, tested as I am.
I surrender, I surrender
Be my beacon burning bright
Live within me, cleanse me, change me,
Be my Master, be my light!


Holy Spirit, work within me,
Let the love of Christ shine through
Sweeten every ugly impulse
Till in me the world sees you.
Let your fragrance, let your beauty,
Let your grace flow from my soul
Burn within me, cleanse me, change me,
Make me holy, make me whole.

My Father’s Blessing

Last Sunday afternoon I received my father’s blessing.

I had called Mom and Dad on the phone.

We were talking about Mom’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

It was a touching conversation, and both my parents were fully engaged.

They spoke of approaching each day with the expectation of happiness, based on God’s goodness.

And on the simple delight of a shared day after 60 years of life together.

I told them that I wished I could be with them, to be more supportive in these challenging days.

Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Dad said, I’m so proud of you.”

What was that again?

I said nothing and began to weep as Mom continued talking.

I’ve waited all my life to hear that!

Dad has told me “I love you,” but this is my first time to hear

I’m proud…


From childhood I’ve waited.

He was the master carpenter, skilled with his hands.

I could never measure up.

I remember his expressions of frustration and disappointment.

Those words and expressions have lingered like weights all these years.

Four years ago I brought them a book of 50 old hymn texts for which I had written new tunes.

He seemed to pay no attention to it at all.

I was crushed by his indifference.

I was angry.

He didn’t understand, I think.

But now I have the I’m proud…

I had given up ever expecting to hear that from him.

Something has been released within me, something powerful…

Dare I say it?

I wonder if some demon has been exorcised from my life.

In their book The Blessing, John Trent and Gary Smalley offer a look at the life-changing gift which the Bible calls “the blessing.”

The unconditional love and approval that come with a parent’s blessing can be important elements in our emotional well-being.

I’ve got it now! And no one can take that away from me! 

(September 2010)