Not for Ease That Prayer Shall Be

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
—Psalm 23:1-3

Hear, O God, the prayer we offer—
not for ease that prayer shall be,
but for strength, that we may ever
live our lives courageously.

Not forever in green pastures
do we ask our way to be,
but the steep and rugged pathway
may we tread rejoicingly.

Not forever by still waters
would we idly rest and stay,
but would smite the living fountains
from the rocks along our way.

Be our strength in hours of weakness,
in our wanderings be our guide;
through endeavor, failure, danger,
be the shepherd at our side.
✙ Love M. Willis, 1859 (adapted by SG)

I prefer this tune adapted by Ralph Vaughan Williams for this hymn.