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Pop A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Psalter

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I Need Thee Every Hour
Psalm 86:1
I NEED THEE  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: Annie S. Hawks, 1835-1918
Musician: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

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 Saviour!
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.

I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son!


Several of the hymn stories in this book relate the trying experiences of the children of God and how their afflictions have been the material from which great hymns were written.

However, here's one which came into being through completely different and happier circumstances. It makes a refreshing and interesting change.

Annie Sherwood Hawks was bom in Hoosick, New York, on 28th May 1835. Even from an early age she was writing poetry and, at 14, had some published in a newspaper.

When she married, at 24, she moved to live in the Brooklyn area of New York. There, she and her husband joined the church whose pastor was the noted hymn writer and composer, Dr. Robert S. Lowry.

Dr. Lowry immediately recognised Mrs Hawks talent for writing and encouraged her to use it. In fact he even offered her a challenge. 'If you'll write the words,' he said, I'll write the music,' and he was as good as his word.

"I Need Thee Every Hour", was written in April 1872 and is thought to have been based on the exhortation of Jesus in John 15 verses 4 and 5.

'Abide in me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can
ye, except ye abide in me. I am the
vine, ye are the branches: he that
abideth in me, I am in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit: for without
me ye can do nothing.'

The new hymn was first performed in November that year at the National Sunday School Convention in Cincinatti, Ohio. Very soon it was taken up by the famous evangelistic team of Moody and Sankey, who, it seems likely, did most to make it popular. It was translated into many other languages too; and even featured in the great Chicago World's Fair.

But what about the actual penning of those comforting lines?

Well, a short time before her death, on January 3rd 1918, Mrs Hawkes gave the full background story. I quote her own words.

'I remember well the circumstances under which I wrote the hymn. It was a bright June day, and I became so filled with the sense of the nearness of my Master that I began to wonder how anyone could live without Him, in either joy or pain. Suddenly, the words I need Thee every hour, flashed into my mind, and very quickly the thought had full possession of me.

Seating myself by the open windows, I caught up my pencil and committed the words to paper - almost as they are today. A few months later Dr. Robert Lowry composed the tune Need, for my hymn and also added the refrain.

For myself, the hymn, at its writing, was prophetic rather than expressive of my own experiences, for it was wafted out to the world on the wings of love and joy, instead of under the stress of great personal sorrow, with which it has often been associated.

At first I did not understand why the hymn so greatly touched the throbbing heart of humanity. Years later, however, under the shadow of a great loss, I came to understand something of the comforting power of the words 1 had been permitted to give out to others in my hours of sweet serenity and peace.'

It must have given the talented lady great satisfaction to write something which has been such a blessing to so many.

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 Saviour!
I come to Thee.


1 ¶ Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

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