I Need Thee Every Hour
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high
priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all
points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul;
for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me,
O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift
up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
2 Corinthians 1:10
Annie Hawks -
Born: May 28, 1836, Hoosick, New York.
Died: January 3, 1918, Bennington, Vermont.
Buried: Hoosick Rural Cemetery, Hoosick, New York.
Robert Lowry -
Born: March 12, 1826, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Died: November 25, 1899, Plainfield, New Jersey.
Buried: Hillside Cemetery, Plainfield, New Jersey.
Annie Sherwood Hawks was born in Hoosick, New York, on May 28th 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 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 I 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.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By what we hear and see in this day and age of this generation, it is the cry that " we are in need of nothing." All dependency on God, parents and family has disappeared.
This coldness is in part the result of parents who were rejected by their own parents either because of divorce, or became to busy with the cares of this world.
Like the children of Israel in the old testament, they no longer felt a need for God and His Word.
We need to have a broken spirit realizing that we can do nothing apart from God. God wants us to trust Him with all of our cares and needs.
The most important thing that we need to trust Him for is our salvation. There was nothing that I could offer God so that He would wipe away my sin. I had to cry out to Him
I need Thee, O I need Thee
and see myself as a sinner, repent of my sin and completely trust Him to save me.
There is a peace that passes all understanding when you live your life depending on God for everything and thanking Him by living that life in a way that is honoring and pleasing to Him.
This is the greatest legacy we can pass on to our children.
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