Luther's hymn for Pentecost, "We Now Implore God the Holy Ghost," is the next hymn for consideration. The first stanza of this hymn is not by Luther; it was sung at public executions by the assembled mob as the victims were being burned at the stake. The first stanza was also one of three German hymns that the Roman Catholic Church permitted the people to sing in a public worship service. From the fourth century to the time of Luther, there was little congregational singing in worship services. Luther changed the pattern by reintroducing congregational singing of hymn in the congregational worship service in the German language of the people.
Luther was fond of this Pentecost hymn and wrote three additional stanzas to transform is into a beautiful and meaningful Lutheran chorale. At the end of each stanza, he kept the medieval custom of ending with "Lord have mercy" or its abbreviated form, "Leise," which means "have mercy."
—Pastor Gordon Waterman
1. We now implore God the Holy Ghost
For the true faith, which we need the most,
That in our last moments He may befriend us
And, as homeward we journey, attend us. Lord, have mercy!
2. Shine in our hearts, O most precious Light,
That we Jesus Christ may know aright,
Clinging to our Savior, whose blood hath bought us,
Who again to our homeland hath bro't us. Lord, have mercy!
3. Thou sacred Love, grace on us bestow,
Set our hearts with heav'nly fire aglow
That with hearts united we love each other,
Of one mind, in peace with ev'ry brother. Lord, have mercy!
4. Thou highest Comfort in ev'ry need,
Grant that neither shame nor death we heed,
That e'en then our courage may never fail us
When the Foe shall accuse and assail us. Lord, have mercy!
By Martin Luther, 1524
Based on John 16:13