#144 Secret Prayer

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1. There is an hour of peace and rest,
Unmarred by earthly care;
‘Tis when before the Lord I go
And kneel in secret prayer.

May my heart be turned to pray,
Pray in secret day by day,
That this boon to mortals giv’n
May unite my soul with heav’n.

2. The straight and narrow way to heav’n,
Where angels bright and fair
Are singing to God’s praise, is found
Thru constant secret prayer.

3. When sailing on life’s stormy sea,
‘Mid billows of despair,
‘Tis solace to my soul to know
God hears my secret prayer.

4. When thorns are strewn along my path,
And foes my feet ensnare,
My Savior to my aid will come,
If sought in secret prayer.

Text and music: Hans Henry Petersen, 1835-1909

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: Hans Henry Petersen

Music By: Hans Henry Petersen

Hans Henry Petersen (25 December 1835-18 December 1909) was a Latter-day Saint hymnwriter. His most notable work is the hymn “Secret Prayer”.

Petersen was born near the town of Slagelse in Denmark. He was raised as a Lutheran. His early years were spent working on a farm, as an apprentice weaver and then in a grist mill. In June 1853 Petersen and his father were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1857 Petersen was called as an LDS missionary to serve in Denmark. He was branch president at Svenstrup and later District president in Copenhagen. In 1862 Petersen emigrated to the US along with his parents and five siblings. He also married Julia Maria Larsen on the ship they were leaving Denmark on on 19 April 1862. The marriage was performed by O. N. Liljenquist. Julia was from Helsingor and had joined the Church despite her parents opposition and had been disowned by them.

They sailed to New York and then took the trains to Florence, Nebraska. Petersen and family joined one of the down and back companies of wagons sent out from Utah. He was placed in command of a group of about 400 for the journey to Utah.

Petersen first settled in Manti, Utah but later moved to Salt Lake City. He organized a Scandinavian choir in that city. In 1868 he moved again, this time to Hyrum, Utah.

In Hyrum Petersen served as city recorder, a Justice of the Peace, city marshall and a member of the school board. In the church he served as ward choir director and assistant superintendent of the Sunday school. When the Hyrum Stake was formed he was also its choir director.