Saturday, April 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

One of our retreat speakers this weekend is sharing what God has taught her in the midst of incredible heartache, involving the tragic death of her 21-year-old daughter and son-in-law. She has chosen two songs for us to sing surrounding her talk. One is the incredible song Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman. And the other is the wonderful hymn I Need Thee Every Hour.

As I was preparing the Powerpoint slides, I ran across the background of this beautiful song, written by a mom very much like each of us, albeit 136 years ago! Written by Annie Hawks, the circumstances of the song and how it ministered to its author years after she had written it are below:

"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'm sure it's no surprise to you that the beautiful rendition below is none other than Selah. The voice is Nicole Smith Sponberg, the sister of Todd Smith and his wife Angie. (BTW. Angie's blog about their journey in the loss of their precious baby was finally unblocked earlier this week after 10 days. They had received so many comments on her A Letter to My Daughter post that Blogger froze it to check that it wasn't a spam blog! Don't you know the Blogger folks were ministered to as they sifted through their story and the more than 700 comments!)


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 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 blessèd Son.


Words: Annie Hawks, 1872
Music: Robert Lowry, 1872

Amy has more songs for your soul!


View blog reactions


SharonB said...

Linda~ what a beautiful reminder this morning. I do need Him every hour of the day - this really touched my heart this morning. Thank you for sharing.

Xandra said...

I have so many favorites, and this one ranks right up near the top of the list! I especially love Selah's version of it. Ok...I don't thing they do a version that I don't like, but still! LOL!


Melanie said...

This is such a beautiful song that touches my heart everytime I hear it. So glad you chose this one to share today.

Susan said...

Oh Linda,

I'm moved to tears. I've never heard this beautiful hymn. I'll never forget it now.

What an awesome testimony.

Thanks for sharing this with us today.

Blessings to you this day♥

Carol said...

What a powerful song. Thanks for sharing. I also enjoyed reading Angie's blog. What an incredible testimony!

Andrea said...

Oh, Linda - thanks for picking this song this morning! I just saw the slideshow on little Audrey last night - and it's so emotional. I love this version and how appropriate that it's from Selah! I look forward to Saturdays to hear all the wonderful songs. Have a blessed day :-)

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

One of my favorites by Selah! Thanks! ☺

Carole said...

I grew up loving this beautiful hymn that we sang frequently at church. Thank you for sharing its story and timeless message, Linda.

Amy Wyatt said...

I love this! And the stories behind songs are always so good and make you look at the song in a different way. I'm so glad you updated about Angie's blog. I had been reading some of their story. What a wonderful way for the people at Blogger to get a full dose of the love of Christ and of Christians for each other.
BTW... I love the "Your life in six words" idea. I am trying to come up with my six. Thanks for joining in this week.
Congrats on blog of the month too at CWO.

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Oh those are so great. Thanks for sharing that story too.

Kim said...

Oh how I LOVE this song...for truly I NEED him...every hour.

It was so nice to visit your blog.

Blessings to you.


Tänia said...

I love this hymn. I remember my grandmother singing it years ago. Thank you for sharing.

Tänia of

Deb said...

Wow thank you so much!! I also cried as I read through Angie's blog, what a story. God Bless You,

Michelle said...

Powerful version of one of my favorite hymns. Thanks for sharing the stories around it.

Peggy said...

Both these songs bless me very much! May your retreat refresh your spirit! I just love it when we learn the history behind the song/hymn. I Need Thee every hour constantly reminds us of how much God is There for us to minister to us when we just can't bear another heartache. How complete He is and how He completes us. Thank you Linda for a great selection and a precious Power Point history! Peggy

Melissa Lea said...

This is such a wonderful song and a great reminder that we really do need HIM every hour!

Julie Stiles Mills said...

I Need Thee Every Hour is one of my all time favorites. I first heard it sung acappella by Sandi Patti at the end of her song "The Stage is Bare" and I've sung it many times - always acappella. The last time was on Valentines Day. I was "Prayer Warrior" of the day for my friend, who was fighting stage 4 breast cancer. I sang it on her answering machine and she tells me she still listens to it. She was diagnosed in December and just two weeks ago, her doctors report that her cancer is "resolved."

God is Good.

A Stone Gatherer said...

I love that song! Never heard the story behind it! That is so inspiring! Praise God for Angie's 700 comments, may God be praised forever and lifes changed!

marina said...

I have never herd of these song but it truly touch my heart and almost found myslef in tears "I turly need him each day that I live I can not be with out my Jesus".marina