Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lyrics (click here to hear instrumental)

1. 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.

2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.

3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

4. I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.

5. I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.

Annie Sherwood Hawks (1835-1918)

The History Behind the Hymn

This hymn by Annie Sherwood Hawks (1835-1918) reflects the same general characteristics as those of the other four 19th-century women hymn writers discussed during Lent.

The women all employ first-person accounts that grow out a deep personal piety, resulting in a language of intimacy between the singer and the Savior.

A New York native, Hawks displayed a gift for verse at the early age of 14, contributing poems on a regular basis to a variety of newspapers. Though she composed over 400 hymn texts, “I Need Thee Every Hour” is the only hymn of hers that is still sung today.

Following her marriage to Charles Hawks in 1859, much of Hawks’ life centered on the domestic aspects of rearing three children. She was a member of Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Dr. Robert Lowry, a prominent writer of gospel songs, was her pastor. Lowry encouraged the gift that he saw in Hawks’ poetry.

We have a personal account of the genesis of “I Need Thee Every Hour”: Hawks writes, “One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks during a bright June morning [in 1872]. 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 were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me — ‘I Need Thee Every Hour. . . .'”

A Lesson for Me

1 Peter 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

There is not a moment in my life as a believer where I haven’t needed the Lord! He’s present in every part, whether good or bad. He’s present when I sin against Him, and when I have victory over sin. There is no where that I can hide from His presence because His Spirit is with me. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.

Message for today

Christians seem to forget that God is omnipresent – meaning He is everywhere at all times. Just because we cannot comprehend that characteristic of God with our finite minds, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. There are so many aspects of our Heavenly Father’s character that we fail to remember just who He is!

Psa 139:7-10  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  (8)  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  (9)  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  (10)  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Not only is He the creator of absolutely everything, He is all powerful and there is nothing too difficult for Him. He is omniscient – He knows everything, yes even your deepest thoughts hidden in the corner of your heart. There is nothing about you He does not know. That is why it is to your benefit to confess your faults daily to Him. Keep your accounts short!

3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

Are you hurting and those around you have abandoned you? Turn to Him with your needs! Do you have a physical trial which leaves you without strength? Turn to Him. There is no item so small that you cannot share with the Lord. Our author became aware of her need for the Lord while she performed her duties as a wife and mother! Such simple tasks brought to her mind her need for Him. For some, it takes a major trial before they come to the realization that they need God. Our lesson here is, as believers we should seek Him and need Him every hour!!

If you are not truly born-again, there is coming a time when it will be too late for you to repent and be saved. It is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab You Can Be Born Again and Know It!