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Cleanse Me

Story | Bible Verse | Desktop Background


Edwin Orr
Edwin Orr

Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;

I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.

O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.


The beautiful hymn "CLEANSE ME" that is playing was written by J. Edwin Orr, he was born on January 12, 1912 in Belfast, Ireland, of an American father and a British mother. His education includes earned doctorates from universities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, including the Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University and the Ed. D. from U.C.L.A. in 1971.
Dr. Orr also served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific from 1943-1946. Since World War II, Mr. and Mrs. Orr have been California residents. In his many travels, Dr Orr has visited a hundred and fifty countries, including the Soviet Union, and has been in two-thirds of the world's six hundred major cities.

Despite these numerous life-long accomplishments for God, J. Edwin Orr will no doubt be best remembered as the author of a simple, yet, one of the most challenging,
revival hymn texts in all of hymnody. Dr. Orr recalls that he wrote "CLEANSE ME" in l936, as a result of great inspiration during an intense movement of the Holy Spirit at the Easter, revival convention in Ngaruawahia, New Zealand.

Dr. Orr reports that as he was leaving New Zealand, four
Aborigine girls approached and sang for him the
beautiful Maori Song of Farewell:

"po atu. rau, I moe a i ho ne; E haere ana, Koe ki pa ma mao' Haere ra, Ma hara mai ano Ki-ite tau, I tangi atu nei"

Dr. Orr was so impressed with the beauty of this Polynesian melody that soon afterward he wrote new verses to the tune on the back of an envelope in the post office at the little town of Ngaruawahia. Though the words were an out-growth of his New Zealand campaigns, the text was based on the familiar words of Scripture found in Psalm 139: 23, 24:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Further campaigns by Dr. Orr throughout Australia in the 1930's, and later in nearly all of the English-speaking world, soon popularized this prayer hymn everywhere. During the 1952 campaign in Brazil, the Portuguese translation of the hymn was again instrumental in the spiritual awakening in that country.

The "Maori" tune has also been widely used with the secular ballad "Now Is the Hour," especially popular during the World War II years and throughout the 1950's.

I have been in love with this beautiful hymn ever since
the first time I heard it as a child. After I began to
play piano and organ, I realized that it makes a beautiful
duet either on keyboards or by singing. The lead
melody (soprano) played or sang along with the
tenor part are absolutely beautiful. After hearing this,
I always loved to play one of the instruments along with someone else playing the harmony part.

Bible Verses

Psalm 51:2 - Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.

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