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Updated 05/30/2013

 

I Need Thee Every Hour


Annie S. Hawks

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.

Robert Lowry (March 12, 1826 - November 25, 1899) was an American professor of literature, a Baptist minister and composer of gospel hymns. Lowry studied theology at the University at Lewisburg (now Bucknell University) and on graduating, in 1854, became ordained as a Baptist minister. He had charge of churches in a number of places including New York; Brooklyn; West Chester, Pennsylvania; and New Jersey. 


Robert Lowry

In 1869 he returned to Lewisburg as a faculty member (having previously served as a professor of literature) and later went on to become its chancellor.  From 1880 until 1886 he was president of the New Jersey Baptist Sunday School Union.

He is most remembered as a composer of gospel music and a hymn writer, and also worked as a music editor at the Biglow Publishing Company. He was responsible for around 500 compositions, including "Beautiful River," "Nothing But the Blood," "Shall We Gather At The River?," and "How Can I Keep From Singing?"  Despite his success as a hymn writer, it was as a preacher that Lowry would have preferred to be recognized. He once stated: "Music, with me has been a side issue... I would rather preach a gospel sermon to an appreciative audience than write a hymn. I have always looked upon myself as a preacher and felt a sort of depreciation when I began to be known more as a composer." But, however, it is as a hymn writer that he remains renowned.

The hymn was first pub­lished at the Na­tion­al Bap­tist Sun­day School Con­ven­tion in Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio, in No­vem­ber 1872.


Lyrics by Annie Hawks

 

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