Thy mercy, Lord, is what I need
To save my sinful soul.
My earnest plea I pray Thee heed,
And make my spirit whole.
Lord, turn away Thy righteous wrath,
Please spare my soul’s deserved death:
Be merciful to me.

Thy peace is what my conscience longs—
A respite from my woes:
Thy peace to quiet former wrongs
And silence sland’rous foes.
Lord, calm from Thee would soon displace
My guilty fears, so please now place
This peace within my soul. 

Thy grace is what I truly yearn
To change my ways within.
For grace alone can make me turn
To Thee and far from sin. 
Thy grace is all-sufficient, yes,
My heart to change, my soul to bless:
Lord, give this grace to me. 

Thy love shall surely watch me now,
And guard my heart and mind.
For all-compassionate art Thou,
Benevolent and kind.
Lord, what repayment can I give?
There’s nothing, save this life I live,
So let me live for Thee.

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This hymn’s first line was inspired by the sinner's prayer from Luke: “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” This is the prayer that every individual must make their own, knowing that by doing so they will receive full forgiveness from God. But as this prayerful hymn explores, more than needing God's mercy, we also need God's peace, grace, and love. An honest reflection of our utter need for all things good from God in heaven can produce only one response: “Lord, let me live for Thee.” As the tune name suggests, this was written for my wife, though she wasn’t my wife at the time! It was composed as a gift shortly after our engagement. The words are a weak and feeble tribute to her, but the music (perhaps one of the most transcendent hymn tunes of all time) I think is a fitting reflection of her beauty. Listen and see for yourself!

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