April 15, 2014

I Need Thee Every Hour

<< the hymn and its history >>

Annie Sherwood was a mother of  three living in the 1850's in Brooklyn. She was encouraged in her writing, and wrote many Sunday School songs for children. In June of 1872 she wrote "I need Thee Every Hour."

"One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, 'I Need Thee Every Hour,' were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me."

Little did she know how much the hymn would speak back to her when her husband died sixteen years later.

"It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace."

<< the hymn and me >>

The chorus is what I know the best, with it's short and sweet refrain, but the entire hymn touches my heart. There are days which are harder than others. Moments when you lose hope, get enveloped by circumstances, or forget to focus on Christ. It is these days I can appreciate praying the hours.

I remember the first time I read Phyllis Tickle. Her memoir is really quite amazing and inspiring. But her books, Divine Hours, are ones I have checked out often and wished I had. The books and this hymn go hand in hand for me.

The truth of the matter is that there is never a day we don't need God. There is never a day we don't need Jesus' presence. But there are so many days we forget we need Him. Or maybe that's just me. Taking His presence for granted and moving through the hours as if there was not any other choice is all too often done. But taking time out on a regular basis to turn my mind, thoughts, and attention intentionally back to God will keep me remembering how much I do in fact need God.

<< the hymn >>


I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee,
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee!

I need Thee every hour,
Stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their poer
When Thou art nigh.

(chorus)

I need Thee every hour,
In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide
Or life is vain.

(chorus)

I need Thee every hour,
Most Holy One.
Oh, make me Thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son!

(chorus)
Words: Annie S. Hawks; Robert Lowry, refrain
Music: Robert Lowry


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