Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart;
O King of glory, my treasure Thou art.
O King of glory, my victory won;
Rule and reign in me 'til Thy will be done;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Pullman, WA, United States

There's a great verse missing here:

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;

Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;

Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:

Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.

Hope and Rebecca


Mama and I sang this song this morning. It gives you a good boost in the morning.


Stephen Bellingham

Irvine, CA, United States

This ancient hymn remains relevant throughout time. I was in inwardly nourished and refreshed singing and musing on the words this morning. Thank you Lord Jesus!

“Whom do I have in heaven but You?

And beside You there is nothing I desire on earth. ”

Psalm 73:25

Leigh Powell

This hymn assumes the singer is a born again Christian, who alone can 'successfully' pray the prayer this hymn expresses (1 Corinthians 2 verse 21 - the natural man receives not the things of God for they are spiritually discerned). But how des a person become a born again Christian?

A person is born again when he/she repents and believes the gospel. a person repents when one is shown their sinfulness by God the Holy Spirit and asks God for forgiveness and power to overcome their sin by the Holy Spurit who will live inside them once they believe the gospel and are born again (1 Corinthians 3).

A person can only believe the gospel by the opening of their spiritually blind eyes by the Hooy Spirit from God the Fatherr (Matthew 18 verse 16 - revelation of spiritual truth from God, starting with salvation through believing that the Lord Jesus is the sin bearing lamb of God (Messiah).

Jide Omotosho

O King of glory, my victory won;

Rule and reign in me ’til Thy will be done;

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Continue to reign in me Lord Jesus. Amen



@bamminer, considering that such hymns have been translated into other languages (as has our bible) , I think nothing is holding you back from sort-of-translating this to a language form that is more comfortable and familiar to you. The focus is on how the words of such hymns help us to focus and express our prayerful praise and worship to God, and God's delight is in our hearts turned to Him.

But I think it is unwise to criticise the language of these hymns, and if anyone you know had such an impression, you should counsel them accordingly. This hymn, as you know, was translated a century ago, and so the words and style used would naturally match the style of hymns of that time and church tradition.

Such hymns (and our Psalms) and their sources usually were composed by our brothers and sisters of the faith who had gone before us and who, with beautiful hearts molded by God's fires, created these inspired songs for their brethren and their future faith heirs, in service to God.

So let's give thanks to God together for these songs that were usually birthed through hardship, translate these hymns to best minister to one another if we are led to, and lovingly honour the memories these authors whom we will someday meet in heaven, in the kingdom of our God and our Lord.

I am a Chinese, btw, and I love this song. Hymns and psalms truly come alive for people who are experiencing the pain that leads us to turn our eyes back to God.

David Paradis

Isabela, Puerto Rico

Bryan Jeffers and Allison, if the Wikipedia article is correct, the version without the "battle" verse is a Methodist Hymnal version. Very interesting article; check it out.


NC, United States

Be Thou My Vision is a Hymn originally written in the 8th century in Gaelic and translated into English in the early 1900s when Irish Christians were highly persecuted an forced to speak English instead. Changing it again now to suit word preferences of modern colloquial speech would further desecrate the richness and beauty this song still manages to evoke. Granted it would be even more incredible if heard sung in its original language no doubt! But yes, it is missing the third verse be thou my battle shield.

Blossom M

Putnam Valley, New York, United States

I am so glad that when my Lord and Savior died on Calvary, He never discriminated, His precious Blood was shed for all, irrespective of race, color or creed. I just wish that God's people could see each other through the eyes of our Master and Lord, as being all equal in His sight. What a glorious day that would be!

....still be my vision oh Ruler of all!

Linda Brown

Long Beach, California, United States

Bamminer, I understand where you are coming from & can appreciate your perspective. I am Mexican-American & love/embrace my heritage as well. This song IS special because of its ethnic tone & authentic old Irish culture embedded into change it in any way would be a death to the Irish essence that this song is based on. The Irish were persecuted beyond belief in history & have now risen to so much, but their language was stolen from them & they were forced to speak an English version of it....these people have suffered! To change such a historic & cultural song would be a tragedy & a shame....just like we would never want to change black cultural songs & "whiten" them up just for white people to "accept" them. We miss the point of cultural acceptance & cultural appreciation if we start altering things just to suit our own tastes.....doesnt that defeat the purpose (God's purpose) of us all being different? I think our duty is to learn, appreciate, & respect cultural differences & thereby we can honor one another :)