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“I Need Thee Every Hour”
by Annie S. Hawks 1836-1918
 
This deeply personal hymn came from the heart of a busy housewife and mother who had no idea of the spiritual strength that her own hastily written words would bring her later during a sorrowful time in her life.  Born in Hoosick, NY on May 28, 1836, Annie Sherwood Hawks developed a love for poetry early in life.  Her first poem was published when she was only fourteen years old.  Her husband’s name was Charles Hawks and they were given three children.
 
Annie left this account about her poem turned song in 1872: “One day as a young wife and mother of thirty-seven years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks.  Suddenly, I became filled with the sense of the nearness of the Master, and I began to wonder how anyone could ever live without Him, either in joy or pain.  Then the words were ushered into my mind and these thoughts took full possession of me.”
 
                I need thee every hour, Most gracious Lord;
                No tender voice like Thine Can peace afford.
 
The tune and chorus were written by the Hawks’ pastor, a famous hymn writer himself, Dr. Robert Lowry (“Nothing But the Blood” and “Christ Arose”).  “I Need Thee Every Hour” was first sung at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, OH in 1872.  Ira Sankey made it even more popular by using it in the Moody-Sankey meetings.
 
Sixteen years after writing her song, Mrs. Hawks would suffer the death of her husband.  Years later should 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.”
 
One of the blessings of a victorious Christian life is knowing the closeness our Lord in every circumstance of life.  Like Annie Hawks, it is so important that we develop strong spiritual lives during the peaceful hours in order that we will be able to be victorious when difficulties come, which they surely will.