Martha Snell Nicholson: Praises in Poetry

Martha Snell Nicholson: Praises in Poetry

Martha Snell Nicholson lived a life of chronic illness but her devotion to the Lord shined through her writings. She was a sickly child born into to a Christian family in Nebraska, 1899. She was raised in Tacoma, Washington where she often missed school.  Reading the works of Tennyson, Milton, and others, Martha found great inspiration and enjoyment.

Martha Snell Nicholson: Praises in Poetry

Photo: Martha Snell Nicholson

Racked with pain and bedridden most of her life, she took pen to paper and started writing Christian poetry that some hail today as the finest ever written. In 1938, her first book was published, Wings and Sky. Overjoyed, she continued to write and published several more books.

The chancellor of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles at the time, Louis T. Talbot, called her “one of the most amazing demonstrations of the grace of God that I have witnessed, Out of her troubles were born the exquisite verses which have blessed and comforted thousands of Christians the world around.” He added that her work “has now taken its place with the best Christian literature of all time.”

Here are some examples of her wonderful poetry:


One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost. 

And I walked earth’s highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
“Lift your empty hands to Me!” 

So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.

And at last I comprehended
with my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!


Is my house set in order
if Christ should come today?
What tasks would be unfinished
if I were called away?

Suppose an angel told me
at early morning light,
“Your Lord will come this evening,
You shall go home tonight,”

Would ecstasy be clouded
by thought of work undone,
The seed I might have scattered,
The crown I might have won?

The soul I meant to speak to,
the purse I meant to share,
And oh the wasted moments
I meant to spend in prayer!

The weight of unsaved millions
would press upon my heart.
In their death am I certain
that I had not a part?

And such a few short moments
In which to set things right!
How feverishly I’d labor
Until the waning light!

O slothful soul and careless heart,
O eyes which have no sight, –
Work, lest you reap but vain regrets!
Your Lord “may” come home tonight!



Sometimes I do not even pray in words,
I take my heart in my two hands
And hold it up before the Lord,
I’m so glad He understands.
Sometimes I do not even pray in words,
My spirit bows before His feet,
And with His hand upon my head
We just hold communion, silent, sweet.
Sometimes I do not pray in words,
For I am tired and long for rest,
And my heart finds all it needs
Just resting on the Savior’s gentle breast.



How many, many things He will forget!
My every sin, both great and small, and yet

He will remember and He will reward
The smallest service done for our dear Lord!

Divine forgetfulness, unfathomed grace,
And love which knows no bounds of time nor space!



Keep Thou me ever hungry, Lord,
Until I famish for Thy Word —
Thy Word, which is my meat, my bread,
Thy Word, which feeds whenever read.

Keep Thou me every thirsty, Lord,
Stay not Thy hand till Thou has poured
Thy living water in my cup
Which I am humbly holding up.

Keep me dissatisfied, dear Lord;
Use Thou Thy Spirit’s shining sword
To pierce my foolish self-esteem
And rouse me from my empty dream.

Keep me awake, that I may hear
Thy bugles calling, loud and clear.
Stir Thou my sluggish soul to fight
For Thee beneath Thy banner bright.

Yes, this my prayer, that I may be
Hungry and thirsty, Lord, for Thee,
Dissatisfied with self, awake!
And this I ask for Jesus’ sake.

==> And read Rooted in the Father’s Love.

==> Also read Samaritan’s Purse Touches Lives in NYC.


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