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More Love to Thee, O Christ

Elizabeth Prentiss, the wife of a Presbyterian minister, spent most of her adult life as an invalid, seldom knowing a day without constant pain throughout her body. Yet she was described by her friends as a bright-eyed, cheery woman with a keen sense of humor.

Elizabeth was always strong in faith and encouraging to others, until tragedy struck the Prentiss family beyond what even she could bear. The loss of two of their children brought great sorrow to Elizabeth’s life. For weeks no one could console her. In her diary she wrote of “empty hands, a worn-out, exhausted body, and unutterable longings to flee from a world that has so many sharp experiences.”

During this period of grief, Elizabeth cried out to God, asking Him to minister to her broken spirit. It was at this time that Elizabeth’s story became a living testimony! For over 100 years the Body of Christ has been encouraged as they sing the words penned by Elizabeth Prentiss in her deepest sorrow:

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek—Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

Let sorrow do its work, send grief and pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me,
More love, O Christ, to Thee…

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee.

Tom White, “Living Testimonies,” The Voice of the Martyrs, July, 1998, p. .2