Lord, Keep us Steadfast in Thy Word - Hymn of Martin Luther
The origin and the content of this hymn emphasize its meaning and value.
“Rome boasts that she never changes; the Turk has not improved, new and diverse enemies have risen round about us, so that there are numerous occasions when sincere Christians, realizing their environment, can enter with appreciation into the singing of this old Luther hymn, recognizing that though some conditions vary, the real dangers are the same, and the need of every influence and protection and guidance of the Triune God prayed for in this remarkable Luther hymn is needed today and every day that the Christian lives.
This hymn is found in all good Lutheran hymn books; it is included in the new “Common Service Book with Hymnal” for all English-speaking Lutherans; it is a universal favorite in German churches. Written primarily for the children to sing, it has become a general favorite of devout, believing Christians who find it a most expressive prayer, breathing their innermost feelings as to the necessity of the restraints which only God can throw around the enemies of truth and the protection which only God can give to all Christians. It is, therefore, a prayer for continuance in the word as a safe tower of defense.1
Lyrics Lord, Keep us Steadfast in Thy Word by Martin Luther
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546
1. Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word; Curb those who fain by craft and sword Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son And set at naught all He hath done. 2. Lord Jesus Christ, Thy power make known, For Thou art Lord of lords alone; Defend Thy Christendom that we May evermore sing praise to Thee. 3. O Comforter of priceless worth. Send peace and unity on earth. Support us in our final strife And lead us out of death to life. Hymn 261 The Lutheran Hymnal Text: John 8: 31 Author: Martin Luther, 1541 Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1863 Titled: "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" Tune: "Erhalt uns, Herr" 1st Published in: Geistliche Lieder Town: Wittenberg, 1543
William Lee Hunton. Stories of the Origins, Authorship, and Use of Hymns we Love. Philadelphia: General Council Publishing House, 1917. Lutheran Library Edition forthcoming in 2018. ↩︎