Hör' mein Bitten (Hear My Prayer) was completed on January 25, 1844, and published in Berlin, with no date. The piece is arranged for soprano solo with four-part mixed chorus and organ accompaniment. Hear My Prayer has become very popular, although it is not as delicately written as many of Mendelssohn's other choral works.
Mendelssohn sets the prayer, in which the petitioner calls upon his Lord to protect him from his enemies, in two large parts, each with subsections. The solo soprano, with organ accompaniment, opens the work, the falling vocal line reflecting the text of the first line: "Hör' mein Bitten, Herr, neige dich zu mir" (Hear my prayer, Lord, come down to me). As the melody becomes transformed, the music touches on G minor, where the first part eventually settles. After the soprano repeats her first line, the chorus enters with homophonic repetitions of the soprano's text. At "Die Feinde droh'n," Mendelssohn increases the intensity by shifting to 3/8 meter and increasing the tempo. As the harmony moves away from G major the entries in the chorus become imitative, creating a thicker texture until the motion stops and the soprano begins a recitative. A final choral outburst, on G minor, introduces the second part of the piece, opened, once again, by the soprano.
Mendelssohn again reflects the meaning of the text by using fluid triplets to set "O könnt' ich fliegen wie Tauben dahin" (Oh, if I could fly there like doves). As in the first section, the chorus responds, but their part is more polyphonic and the organ part much simpler. The soprano soloist sings throughout this harmonically conservative section, in which the triplets in the solo part contrast with the regular rhythms in the chorus.