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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.

 

Chorus:

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.

 

Chorus:

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.

 

Chorus:

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.

 

Chorus:

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!

 

Chorus:

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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God Leads Us Along

 

Words and Music by George A. Young, 19th century

The author and composer of God Leads Us Along was an obscure preacher and carpenter who spent a lifetime humbly serving God in small rural areas. Often the salary was meager and life was difficult for his family. Through it all, however, George Young and his wife never wavered in their loyalty to God and His service.

The story is told that after much struggle and effort, the George Young family was finally able to move into their own small home, which they had built themselves. Their joy seemed complete. But then, while Young was away holding meetings in another area, hoodlums who disliked the preacher’s gospel message set fire to the house, leaving nothing but a heap of ashes. It is thought that out of that tragic experience, George Young completed this hymn, which reaffirms so well the words of Job 35:10: “God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.”

1. In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,

God leads His dear children along;

Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,

God leads His dear children along.

 

2. Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,

God leads His dear children along;

Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,

God leads His dear children along.

 

3. Though sorrows befall us and Satan oppose,

God leads His dear children along;

Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,

God leads His dear children along.

 

4. Away from the mire, and away from the clay,

God leads His dear children along;

Away up in glory, eternity’s day,

God leads His dear children along.

 

Chorus:

Some through the waters, some through the flood,

Some through the fire, but all through the blood;

Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,

In the night season and all the day long.

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From Greenland’s Icy Mountains

Reginald Heber, 1783–1826

In the summer of 1819, Heber was asked by his father-in-law if he knew a worthy hymn that could be used at a missionary service the next Sunday. Reginald went at once to his study for a few minutes of quiet meditation and soon returned with the first stanzas of this text. His family was very pleased with it. Heber, however, feeling the hymn was still incomplete, returned to his study and completed the triumphant final verse.

Five years later the tune was composed specifically for Heber’s text by the noted American educator and church musician, Lowell Mason. It is said that Mason composed this tune with a great sense of inspiration.

Heber was a minister in the Anglican church in England. With his keen interest in world missions, he did much through his writings and influence to promote the missionary activity that greatly increased during his lifetime. As a result of his zeal for missions, he became an Anglican bishop to Calcutta, India, where he died at the age of forty-three.

Today, Reginald Heber is ranked as one of the foremost 19th century English hymnists, having written 57 well-known hymns, including “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

1. From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand;

Where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand:

From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain,

They call us to deliver their land from error’s chain.

 

2. What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;

Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?

In vain with lavish kindness the gifts of God are strown;

The heathen in his blindness bows down to wood and stone.

 

3. Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,

Shall we to those benighted the lamp of life deny?

Salvation! O salvation! The joyful sound proclaim,

Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Messiah’s Name.

 

4. Waft, waft, ye winds, His story, and you, ye waters, roll

Till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from pole to pole:

Till o’er our ransomed nature the Lamb for sinners slain,

Redeemer, King, Creator, in bliss returns to reign.

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Hymn of the Day

Be Thou My Vision

It was translated from Old Irish into English by Mary E. Byrne in “Eriú," Journal of the School of Irish Learning, in 1905. The English text was first versified by Eleanor H. Hull in 1912 and this version of the lyrics is the most common. However, variations of these lyrics are also seen, such as the one at Oremus Hymnal:. The first verse of Hull’s version follows:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Thus, the English translation of the hymn itself is fairly recent and the Elizabethan vocabulary and structure is somewhat an anachronism

Be Thou My Vision has become a quintessential Irish hymn in English-speaking churches and is often sung around St. Patrick’s Day.

The music is the Irish folk song, Slane, which is about Slane Hill where in A.D. 433 St. Patrick defied the pagan High King Lóe­gaire of Ta­ra by lighting candles on Easter Eve. Besides this general connection to Christianity, the folk song has little prior connection to the text.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Dal­lan For­gaill (translated from the Irish by
Ma­ry E. Byrne, Versified by El­ea­nor H. Hull)

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