Bind My Wandering Heart To Thee (Explanation & Hymn)

“Bind my wandering heart to thee”. I remember singing these words as a child in church. They were part of a famous hymn titled Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing. The song is beautiful.

In traditional churches, the hymn remains of the most popular selections during weekly services. It’s a calm melody with imaginative language.

Written almost 300 years ago, the hymn is essentially a prayer. The final verse is one of the most powerful and includes “Bind my wandering heart to thee”.

To truly understand the hymn it’s important to understand its author, the context in the Bible, and the words that precede and succeed it.

Let’s take a closer look!

What Bible Verse Is “Bind My Wandering Heart To Thee”

Robert Robinson, an Englishman, penned the hymn in 1758 at age 22. Historians believe his inspiration came from the book of 1 Samuel because the hymn references Ebenezer.

1 Samuel 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.
He named it Ebenezer, saying, “thus far the Lord has helped us”.

However, the specific verse we are discussing may have been inspired elsewhere. Robinson’s lyrics also hint at inspiration from Psalms, specifically chapter 119.

Psalms 119:10
With my whole heart have I sought thee:
O let me not wander from thy commandments.

The Lyrics: Bind My Wandering Heart To Thee

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Preceding “bind my wandering heart to thee”, Robinson writes “Let thy goodness like a fetter”. Fetter, which is no longer a common word, is defined as “a chain or bracelet used to restrain a prisoner”.

>> also read – Tips to Give Grace To Others

He wishes God’s goodness to bind to his heart, so that he may not wander.

In the words that follow the phrase, Robinson asks God to take and seal it, and to protect it for the courts (heaven) above. He knows the heart is prone to wander and to leave God, but Robinson requests that God protect it.

Only with God, can his heart truly be pure.

How It Can Be Applied To Daily Life

What can we learn from these beautiful words? We know that when we sing “Bind my wandering heart to thee” we are talking to God. Our words acknowledge that we are imperfect and prone to wander (read about the Divine Mercy Chaplet).

Humility plays a big role in this verse and teaches us that we are all prone to wander, even those with the strongest of faith. 

Using these words in prayer, we can talk to God and ask for help. Presenting ourselves to God as someone who is prone to wander is an act of adoration and confession (two important components of prayer) because it lets God know He is the key to a pure heart.

An Example Prayer: Bind My Wandering Heart To Thee

God, I come before you, humble, and grateful that You always listen. I am a sinner and I falter every day.

I love you and I walk in faith, however, I also stray. My heart is prone to wander and I ask that you bind my heart to thee. Keep my heart pure, and keep it close to you.

For when my heart is bound to thee, my life is complete and it I feel Your love in me.

>>also read: Let Go and Let God


“Bind my wandering heart to thee” is part of a verse in Come Thou Fount Every Blessing. The hymn was written almost 300 years ago and to this day it remains a popular song in church.

Each Sunday, millions of Christians young and old sing the words and worship God.

The words are a prayer to the Lord, to bring us closer to Him. Even Christians tend to wander and praying to God to keep our heart close to Him is an acknowledgement that we are not perfect.

The verse and it’s preceding and succeeding lines provide context to what the author is asking God. Use this hymn in your prayers and ask God to “bind your wandering heart to Him”.