When the Shadows Fall

woman-in-worship-positionThe other day, as I went about my daily work, I found myself humming a familiar hymn: I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord…

The stories behind our most beloved hymns are fascinating to me, so I took a few minutes to research this one.

“I Need Thee Every Hour” was penned in 1872 by Annie Hawks (music by her pastor, Robert Lowry).

In Annie’s own words:

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.

Years later, after Annie’s husband died, she wrote these words:

I did not un­der­stand at first why this hymn had touched the great throb­bing heart of hu­man­i­ty. It was not un­til long af­ter, when the sha­dow fell over my way, the sha­dow of a 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.

 As I seek to keep a “Jesus Heart in an Upside-Down World,” the beautiful hymns that I learned as a child continue to minister to me. Many times, God uses the words to reach my bruised heart, to remind me of His presence, or to prompt my thoughts toward prayer and praise.

I pray that these precious words, written by a young woman after God’s own heart, will minister to you today.

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 nearby;

Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

 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, in joy or pain;

Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

 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; teach me Thy will;

And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

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, most Holy One;

O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.

I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;

O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8 

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