Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Monday, May 01, 2006

Boreham's Grace

I found it useful listening to members of F W Boreham’s family in picking up scores of snippets about the old man’s life. At my first of many meals with Frank and Betty Boreham (FWB’s son and daughter-in-law) I discovered the prayer that F W Boreham used before meals.

Frank, his son, knew it by heart and invariably prayed this when we dined together at their home. It is sometimes called ‘The Miller’s Prayer’. I wonder if you know it?

Back of the loaf is the snowy flour,
And back of the flour is the mill,
And back of the mill is the wheat and the shower,
And the sun, and the
Father’s will.
For mill and flour,
And sun and shower,
We give You
thanks, O Lord. Amen.

This prayer was written by Maltie Davenport Babcock, who was an author ('Thoughts for Everyday Living', 1901) and a song writer (he wrote ‘This is my father’s world’).

F W Boreham refers to Babcock's grace in an essay and says that he first heard it at a New Zealand farmhouse in his Mosgiel days (F W Boreham, 'I Forgot To Say', 175).

You can find it (or at least the first verse) on many web sites that list Graces. If you want to learn to sing it the music can be found at the following Internet address:

It is a grace of thanksgiving. It is a prayer that opens our eyes to all that is behind the supermarket shelves… the flour, the mill, the wheat, the rain, the sun. This verse gets us right back to the basics, even to recognizing the hand of our Creator and Provider.

Geoff Pound

Image: F W Boreham (front left), with his wife (holding down her hat in the wind), their first daughter and a couple of friends around a well. Location? Somewhere near Mosgiel, New Zealand. Date? About 1896.