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Words: Edward Payson Hammond (b. Sept. 1, 1831; d. Aug. 14, 1910)
Music: George Coles Stebbins (b. Feb. 26, 1846; d. Oct. 6, 1945)
Note: It looks as though Mr. Hammond’s original refrain was:
I’m singing, singing,
Singing all the time;
Singing all the time.
But in Ira Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos, the word “praise” is substituted throughout the refrain, likely to avoid repetition, since the stanzas use the word “singing” too. However, the latter word also gets to the root of the matter, since the singing is an outward expression of praise, and I’ve used Sankey’s amended version below.
There are some things we do regularly, such as eat meals. There are other things we do occasionally, such as visit a friend. But there are certain things that we keep doing over and over, all the time–even when we’re asleep.
Breathing and the beating of our hearts are not things we have to consciously plan to do. (Thankfully!) Our Creator has programmed our bodies to do them, all through our lives. The rates vary with such things as age, health, and level of activity, however adult human beings breathe about 17,280 times a day, and our hearts beat about 100,000 times a day.
But what if I were to say we should be praising the Lord all the time, at least during our every waking moment. Does that sound impossible? You might wonder how you could get anything else done, if you did that. But David wrote, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Ps. 34:1; cf. 71:6).
In explanation, it’s helpful to think of an action, and an attitude. This can be seen with a negative example. There are some people, sadly, whose hearts are filled with anger and bitterness. The slightest perceived injury or wrong done to them, during the day, and they respond in a fit of temper, and spew angry words. What’s inside bursts forth at the least provocation.
And if we spend time regularly with the Lord, in His Word, and in prayer, and cultivate an attitude of thankful praise, it’s bound to come out again and again. As an action, we can praise the Lord in prayer to Him, or in conversation with a friend, or we can sing hymns of praise to God in church. But underlying such things, if they are done in sincerity, is a persistent attitude of praise. Our actions are simply the result of an overflowing heart.
David speaks of that in Psalm 28.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices [an inner attitude], And with my song I will praise Him [an outward action]” (Ps. 28:7).
So, when he tells us praise to God “shall continually be in my mouth,” it’s as though, to use a more recent expression, praise to the Lord was always on the tip of his tongue. That’s as it should be for us too.
Edward Hammond was an American evangelist who traveled widely preaching the gospel, in the British Isles, continental Europe, Egypt, and Palestine. He had a especially effective ministry to children. He tells the following incident that occurred at a children’s meeting in 1878, and what followed afterward.
“While I was explaining how Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us, I noticed a bright-looking girl bursting into tears. She remained at the inquiry-meeting, and with others was soon happy in the love of Christ.
The next day she handed me a letter of which this is a part: ‘I think I have found the dear Jesus, and I do not see how I could have rejected Him so long. I think I can sing with the rest of those who have found him, ‘Jesus is mine.’ The first time I came to the meetings I cried, but now I feel like singing all the time.’”
It was that last comment that inspired Mr. Hammond to write a gospel song called Praise Him All the Time.
CH-1) I feel like singing all the time,
My tears are wiped away;
For Jesus is a Friend of mine,
I’ll serve Him every day.
I’ll praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him all the time!
Praise Him, praise Him,
I’ll praise Him all the time.
CH-2) When on the cross my Lord I saw
Nailed there by sins of mine;
Fast fell the burning tears; but now,
I’m singing all the time.
CH-4) The wondrous story of the Lamb,
Tell with that voice of thine,
Till others, with the glad new song
Go singing all the time.
1) Do you find, through the day, that expressions such as “Praise the Lord,” or “Thank You, Lord,” come readily to your lips?
2) What kind of things have you especially praised and thanked God for in the past couple of days?