Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Need Thee Every Hour (Hymn for the Housewife!)

To help get you to the conclusion of another week, perhaps?

I Need Thee Every Hour

I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I Need Thee;
Ev'ry hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior;
I come to Thee.

I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow'r
When Thou art nigh.

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

I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Teach me Thy will,
And Thy rich promises
In me fulfill.

Annie Sherwood Hawks (1835-1918)
Robert Lowry (1826-1899), refrain

You don't often think of hymns being written by thirty-seven-year-old homemakers from Brooklyn, but that's the story of this hymn. Annie Hawks was busy with her household chore when the words came to her. She later wrote, "I was so filled with a sense of nearness to my Master that, wondering how one could live without Him in either joy or pain, these words, 'I need thee every hour,' were flashed into my mind. Seating myself by the open window in the balmy air of the bright June day, I caught up my pencil and the words were soon committed to paper."
The pastor of her Baptist church was a musician, and he put the words to music. Two years later Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey discovered the song, and it became famous, much to the amazement of Annie Hawks.
Hawks reflected, "It was not until years later, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words." God often allows us to learn in the sunshine what we will need to lean on in the darkness. From The One Year Book of Hymns


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

This is one of my favorite hymns. I did not know the story behind it. I think I like it even more now! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! And as a SAHM/housewife, boy, do I GET it!!! : )

Becky said...

This is one of my favorite hymns but I, too, did not know it's history. I guess I'll have something new to hum while I sweep for the 1,000th time. :)

Sherry said...

You cannot imagine how much I needed this today (Friday). Thank you so much, Carrie, for posting this.

Lisa Spence said...

One of my favorites, especially the Jars of Clay version (don't they have a version?). Hymn for the Housewife, indeed!

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