Girl sat down looking to the sky

More love to Thee, O Christ; more love to Thee;
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:

More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee; more love to Thee.

 Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:

More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee; more love to Thee.

 Let sorrow do its work, send grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain;
When they can sing with me:
More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee; more love to Thee.

Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:

More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee; more love to Thee.

Elizabeth Prentiss



What kind of circumstances would encourage you to write a worship song? An answer to prayer? A time when God showed His power and greatness? Going through a tragedy probably isn’t something that comes to mind. But it was through grief and heartbreak that the hymn More Love to Thee was written.

Elizabeth Prentiss was a housewife and married to a pastor. She had a very strong personal faith and love for God. But she suffered from health problems throughout her life, including headaches that were so bad, she was virtually bed-bound for days – she even mentions in a letter that she would hardly recover from an attack before the next one came along. 

In 1852, her second child, Eddy, died at the age of three. Her third child, Bessie, was born just three months later, and was only a month old when she also suddenly became ill and died.

Then in 1856, Minnie, her fourth child, became sick with a near-fatal illness. She wasn’t expected to recover, but Elizabeth stayed by her side and nursed her back to health.

Elizabeth could easily have chosen to turn away from God after going through all this pain – it’s what many of us would feel like doing. But instead she turned towards Him to sustain her through heartbreak and chose to love Him extravagantly. It was a deep need within her – her soul crying out for more of Him, trusting Him even in the worst of times. Elizabeth chose to praise God – and she praised Him by writing More Love to Thee.

The hymn is a reflection of the journey that Elizabeth took, and that we all take as Christians. It begins with submission to God, and discovering that He’s better than any pleasure we can find on earth. Then we realise that He’s the only one who can comfort us and bring us peace, and we look forward to the day we get to meet Him face-to-face. Even though the hymn is over 150 years old, it still reminds us that we can worship and trust God through every circumstance, pouring more love on Him, not less.

Instead of allowing our suffering to define and overwhelm us, we can choose to turn our grief and pain into praise. We can say to God, ‘I’m broken, worn down and exhausted by my circumstances. But I choose to love and praise You anyway. All I have to offer is a damaged heart, but I give it to You completely and unreservedly. Loving You is my highest priority.’