Posts Tagged ‘Hymn of the Day’

 I Need Thee Every Hour


Annie Hawks wrote:

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.


After writing the lyrics, Hawks gave them to her pastor, Robert Lowry, who added the tune and refrain. The hymn was first published at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in November 1872.


Some years later, after the death of her husband, Hawks wrote:


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.


I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;

No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;

Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;

Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;

And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;

O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.



I need Thee, O I need Thee;

Every hour I need Thee;

O bless me now, my Savior,

I come to Thee.


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He Keeps Me Singing

Words and Music by Luther B. Bridgers, 1884–1948


Luther Bridgers, a Methodist pastor and evangelist from Georgia, is believed to have written both the words and music for this joyful hymn in 1910, following the death of his wife and three sons in a fire at the home of his wife’s parents, while he was away conducting revival meetings in Kentucky.


1. There’s within my heart a melody

Jesus whispers sweet and low,

“Fear not, I am with thee peace, be still,”

In all of life’s ebb and flow.


2. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,

Discord filled my heart with pain;

Jesus swept across the broken strings,

Stirr’d the slumb’ring chords again.


3. Feasting on the riches of His grace,

Resting ‘neath His shelt’ring wing,

Always looking on His smiling face

That is why I shout and sing.


4. Tho sometimes He leads thru waters deep,

Trials fall across the way,

Tho sometimes the path seems rough and steep,

See His footprints all the way.


5. Soon He’s coming back to welcome me

Far beyond the starry sky;

I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,

I shall reign with Him on high.



Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

Sweetest name I know,

Fills my ev’ry longing,

Keeps me singing as I go.

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I Gave My Life for Thee

Frances R. Havergal, 1836–1879


A vivid painting of Christ, wearing His crown of thorns as He stands before Pilate and the mob, is displayed in the art museum of Dusseldorf, Germany. Under the painting by Sternberg are the words, “This have I done for thee; what hast thou done for Me?” When Frances Havergal viewed the painting during a visit to Germany, she was deeply moved. As she gazed at it in tears, she scribbled down the lines of this hymn text on a scrap of paper. After returning to her home in England, she felt the poetry was so poor that she tossed the lines into a stove. The scorched scrap of paper amazingly floated out of the flames and landed on the floor, where it was found by Frances’ father, Rev. William Havergal, an Anglican minister, a noted poet, and a church musician. He encouraged her to preserve the poem by composing the first melody for it. The tune was composed for this text by the noted American gospel songwriter, Philip P. Bliss, and was first published in 1873.


1. I gave My life for thee,

My precious blood I shed,

That thou might’st ransomed be,

And quickened from the dead;

I gave, I gave My life for thee,

What hast thou given for Me?

I gave, I gave My life for thee,

What hast thou given for Me?


2. My Father’s house of light,

My glory circled throne,

I left, for earthly night,

For wanderings sad and lone;

I left, I left it all for thee,

Hast thou left aught for Me?

I left, I left it all for thee,

Hast thou left aught for Me?


3. I suffered much for thee,

More than the tongue can tell,

Of bitterest agony,

To rescue thee from hell;

I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee,

What hast thou borne for Me?

I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee,

What hast thou borne for Me?


4. And I have brought to thee,

Down from My home above,

Salvation full and free,

My pardon and My love;

I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,

What hast thou brought to Me?

I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee,

What hast thou brought to Me?

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He Hideth My Soul

Fanny J. Crosby, 1820–1915

The blind American poet, Fanny Jane Crosby, did not begin writing gospel texts until she was in her mid-forties. But from then on, inspiring words seemed to flow constantly from her heart, and she became “the happiest creature in all the land.” Friends stopped in frequently to see her with requests for new texts for special occasions.

One day Fanny was visited by William Kirkpatrick, a talented gospel musician who had just composed a new melody that he felt needed suitable words to become a singable hymn. As William sat at the piano and played the tune for Fanny, her face lit up. She knelt in prayer, as was always her custom, and soon the lines to this hymn began to flow freely from her heart.

The life of Fanny Crosby can be as uplifting to us as her wonderful hymns. Her lyrics revealed the triumph God gave her over a life of blindness. She wrote at least 8000 hymn texts during the remaining years of her life and she traveled extensively as a speaker throughout the country in her later years. She said it was her continual prayer that God would allow her to lead every person she contacted to Christ.

1. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

A wonderful Savior to me;

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,

Where rivers of pleasure I see.


2. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,

He taketh my burden away;

He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,

He giveth me strength as my day.


3. With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,

And filled with His fullness divine,

I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God

For such a redeemer as mine!


4. When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise

To meet Him in clouds of the sky,

His perfect salvation,

His wonderful love I’ll shout with the millions on high.



He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock

That shadows a dry, thirsty land;

He hideth my life with the depths of His love,

And covers me there with His hand,

And covers me there with His hand.

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Hiding in Thee

William O. Cushing, 1823–1902

William O. Cushing said that when he wrote this hymn text in 1876, it was the outgrowth of many tears, many heart conflicts and yearnings of which the world could know nothing.” After the death of his wife in middle age, Cushing was forced to retire from an active ministry because of poor health. He had been a successful pastor in the eastern areas of the United States. He began to be intensely interested in writing hymns, collaborating with many of the leading gospel musicians of that time. One day when Ira Sankey made a special request for a song in his gospel work, Cushing felt it was a direct call from God. He explained:

I prayed, Lord, give me something that may glorify Thee. It was while thus waiting that “Hiding in Thee” pressed to make itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune and by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful in the Master’s work.


William Cushing knew personally the sorrows and turmoil of life, but he also knew where he could find safety and rest—in the “blest Rock of Ages.” When this hymn was first published, the author prefaced it with Psalm 31:2—“Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”


1. O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,

My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;

So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine, would I be;

Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in Thee.


2. In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow’s lone hour,

In times when temptation casts o’er me its power;

In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,

Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in Thee.


3. How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,

I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;

How often, when trials like sea billows roll,

Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.



Hiding in Thee,

Hiding in Thee,

Thou blest Rock of Ages,

I’m hiding in Thee.

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Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862–1934


An elderly woman at a prayer meeting one night pleaded, It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your way with our lives.” At this meeting was Adelaide Pollard, a rather well-known itinerant Bible teacher who was deeply discouraged because she had been unable to raise the necessary funds for a trip to Africa to do missionary service. She was moved by the older woman’s sincere and dedicated request of God.


At home that evening Miss Pollard meditated on Jeremiah 18:3, 4:

Then I went down to the potters house, and behold, he wrought a work on the wheels, and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Before retiring that evening, Adelaide Pollard completed the writing of all four stanzas of this hymn as it is sung today. The hymn first appeared in published form in 1907.


1. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me after Thy will,

While I am waiting, yielded and still.


2. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Search me and try me, Master, today!

Whiter than snow, Lord, was me just now,

As in Thy presence humbly I bow.


3. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Wounded and weary, help me I pray!

Power all power surely is Thine!

Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!


4. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Hold o’er my being absolute sway!

Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see

Christ only, always, living in me!

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He Leadeth Me

Joseph H. Gilmore, 1834–1918


Although Joseph Gilmore became a distinguished university and seminary professor, an author of several textbooks in Hebrew and English literature, and a respected Baptist minister, he is best remembered today for this one hymn, hurriedly written when he was just twenty-eight.


Gilmore scribbled down these lines while visiting with friends after preaching about the truths of the 23rd Psalm at the Wednesday evening service of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He left this account:


At the close of the service we adjourned to Deacon Watsons pleasant home, where we were being entertained. During our conversation the blessedness of God’s leading so grew upon me that I took out my pencil, wrote the text just as it stands today, handed it to my wife, and thought no more of it.


Without telling her husband, Mrs. Gilmore sent the verses to the Watchman and Reflector Magazine, where it first appeared the following year. Three years later Joseph Gilmore went to Rochester, New York, as a candidate to become the pastor of Second Baptist Church. He recalls:


Upon entering the chapel I took up a hymnal, thinking—I wonder what they sing here. To my amazement the book opened up at “He Leadeth Me,” and that was the first time I knew that my hurriedly written lines had found a place among the songs of the church.


William Bradbury, an important American contributor to early gospel hymnody, added two additional lines to the chorus: “His faithful foll’wer I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me.”


1. He leadeth me! O blessed thought!

O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!

Whate’er I do, where’er I be,

Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me!


2. Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,

Nor ever murmur nor repine,

Content, whatever lot I see,

Since ’tis Thy hand that leadeth me!


3. And when my task on earth is done,

When by Thy grace, the vict’ry’s won,

E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,

Since God thru Jordan leadeth me!



He leadeth me, He leadeth me,

By His own hand He leadeth me;

His faithful foll’wer I would be,

For by His hand He leadeth me.

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