It was common in the early 1900’s, when Christian families gathered for Bible conferences in England and the United States, to listen to world-renown preachers and missionaries speak on the subject of world evangelism. The goal was to exhort full consecration to taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to distant lands. Many responded to hymns such as “Stir Me.”
Hymns from a century ago focused as much on the meaning of the lyrics as on the melody. At camp meetings which characterized the Keswick Movement, thousands of participants sang the following hymn (“Stir Me” Hymn #371 in the Keswick Hymnal, lyrics by Mary Head, public domain) asking God to give them a heart for missions.
This as a prayer for God to make us sensitive to the world’s need for eternal hope which is only found in Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit move us such that others see Christ in us.
Stir me, Oh stir me, Lord, I care not how,
But stir my heart in passion for the world,
Stir me to give, to go, but most to pray;
Stir till the blood-red banner be unfurled
O'er lands that still in heathen darkness lie,
O'er deserts where no cross is lifted high.
Stir me, Oh stir me, Lord, till all my heart
Is filled with strong compassion for these souls;
Till Thy compelling word drives me to pray;
Till Thy constraining love reach to the poles,
Far north and south, in burning deep desire,
Till east and west are caught in love's great fire.
Stir me, Oh stir me, Lord, Thy heart was stirred
By love's intensest fire, till Thou didst give
Thine only Son, Thy best beloved One,
E'en to the dreadful Cross, that I might live.
Stir me to give myself so back to Thee,
That Thou canst give Thyself again through me.