One of the blogs that I read is by “Brother Maynard.” He has a weekly feature that I like. He calls it “Hymns of my Youth,” where he gives a short statement about why a hymn is important to him and then gives the words of the hymn. I am not sure if this will also be a weekly feature for me but would at least like to share one that meant a lot to me.

Shortly after our family left the Older Order Amish, I was introduced to “Open the wells of Salvation.” It is one of more than 2000 hymns written by Elisha Hoffman; it is an earnest prayer of dedication and commitment, and is number 339 in my Church and Sunday School Hymnal that we used in the Mennonite Church in Hannibal, Missouri.

As an early adolescent, I memorized all the words and sang them lustily as I walked from place to place on our 66 acres in in Pike County Missouri. The words moved me deeply then; they still do today.

Open The Wells Of Salvation

Lord, I am fondly, earnestly longing
Into Thy holy likeness to grow;
Thirsting for more and deeper communion,
Yearning Thy love more fully to know.


Open the wells of grace and salvation,
Pour the rich streams deep into my heart;
Cleanse and refine my thought and affection,
Seal me and make me pure as Thou art.

Dead to the world would I be, O Father!
Dead unto sin, alive unto Thee;
Crucify all the earthly within me,
Emptied of sin and self may I be.


I would be Thine, and serve Thee forever,
Filled with Thy Spirit, lost in Thy love;
Come to my heart, Lord, come with anointing,
Showers of grace send down from above.


Elisha Albright Hoffman 1839-1929