Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Need Thee Every Hour

Annie S. Hawks, born in Hoosick, New York on May 28, 1835, was thirty-seven years old when she penned the words to "I Need Thee Every Hour." Her poems had been published in local newspapers when she was just fourteen years old. She married in 1859 and moved to Brooklyn with her husband Charles. Together they attended the Hanson Place Baptist Church where writer and composer Robert Lowry was Pastor.

Here in Annie's words is the story of how she came to write this hymn:

"I remember well the morning many years ago, when in the midst of the daily cares of my home, I was so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master. While wondering how one could live without Him either in joy or pain for any period of time, these words, 'I need Thee every hour,' were ushered into my mind-the thought at once taking full possession of me. Seating myself by the open window in the balmy air of that bright June day, I took up my pencil and the words were soon committed to paper, almost as they are sung today."

A few months later, Robert Lowry put her words to music and added the chorus.

The hymn was to become a great comfort to Annie when her beloved husband Charles died years later. She went to live with her children in Bennington, Vermont until her death in 1918.

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 Savior,
I come to Thee.

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 vain.

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