Lord, we await your Spirit's anointing


7th October 1990
For Mănăstur Baptist Church, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

What is it?

Lord, we await is a setting of a poem that I wrote after visiting Romania for the first time in October 1990. It is available in two arrangements. The first, for congregation and piano, is a slightly modified version of my original arrangement for congregation and piano. The original required a pianist able to span a major 10th interval easily, so I modified it to make it sit easier under normal-sized hands. Even on its own, as an instrumental solo, the piano part is a majestically powerful piece of music. The second arrangement is for unaccompanied mixed voices (SATB). The 4-part arrangement works very well alongside the original arrangement, if you have the resources to do that, because the harmonies are completely compatible, as you can hear from the audio file below.


My original lyrics were very much a reflection of the experience of visiting Christians in a country that I had never imagined being able to enter. It really was one of those life-changing experiences. Now, more than thirty years later, it seems that more and more countries of the world - including my own - are becoming ever more restless places in which to live. These words seem as relevant to those countries now as they were to Romania in 1990.

Lord, we await your Spirit's anointing;
We surrender all we have and are to your will.
Lord, we adore you; worship before you.
Fill us with your love, precious heav'nly dove,
Be glorified in our praise.

We give to you our heartfelt devotion.
Lord of lords be in our prayers and grant us your peace.
Tried in the fire of stressful emotion,
We have seen your way, moulding us like clay;
Be glorified in our praise.

We live for you, our Lord and Redeemer,
Bearing witness to your love when darkness prevails.
Lord, you assure us, ever before us;
You are just and true, we have faith in you;
Be glorified in our praise.

Hail, Holy Jesus, risen in glory!
All is yours by sov'reign right, created through you.
Lord, we implore you, praying before you,
Blow your breath of life through this land of strife,
Be glorified in our praise.


As I write this, Ukraine - a country that borders Romania and in which I have worked, with people whom I love - is threatened with obliteration by Russia. Nobody has the right to treat other people in that way, full stop. The words of this hymn stand as a fitting tribute to the people of Ukraine.


Lovely people

My wife, with two of the lovely people
whom we met in Romania in October 1990

It only now occurs to me that 'Lord, we await' was the first piece I wrote in response to what might be described as a humanitarian situation. Ever since my university days I’ve had a heart for Romania and Albania. Don’t ask me why or how, that’s just the way it is. So when my wife and I found ourselves standing in the middle of Bucharest not long after Romania’s 1989 revolution, it felt pretty overwhelming. During that visit we spent time with some lovely folk up in Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania. The welcome we received from Christians who had never met us before – and not just Christians, but just about everyone we met – blew us away. So when I got back to England I wrote this song for some of the people whom we had met.

Since then I have worked a lot in Romania and now speak Romanian reasonably well. So if you are reading this and can remember us from that 1990 visit, I can say to you with hand on heart: Vă mulţumesc din inima de experienţa. Ţara dumneavoastră este într-adevăr o ţară minunată, cu oamenI prietenoşi, în care mă simt bunvenit. Sincer vă spun că mă simt un pic român!


The pastor of one of the Romanian churches
in which I've worshipped over the years

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