Hawks_as_1 I am singing for a funeral tomorrow.  The gentleman who died once served as a deacon in our church.  Though I didn’t know him well, I always loved to see he and his wife of more than 50 years together.  They were clearly devoted to one another and my heart breaks for the pain she must be in this evening.  The family chose this precious old hymn for me to sing and, as I have been practicing it today, I am touched by the timeless beauty of the lyrics.  The song was written in 1872, yet the lyrics are as meaningful today as they were on the day they were written.  They seemed to go well with what I wrote yesterday, so I thought I would share them.  The woman who wrote the lyrics shared the history of the song…

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 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

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.

Refrain