I Need Thee Every Hour – Annie Sherwood Hawks (1835-1918)
You don’t often think of hymns being written by thirty-seven-year-old homemakers from Brooklyn, but that’s the story of this hymn. Annie Hawks was busy with her household chores when the words came to her. She later wrote, “I was so filled with a sense of nearness to my Master that, wondering how one could live without Him in either joy or pain, these words, ‘I need thee every hour,’ were flashed into my mind. Seating myself by the open window in the balmy air of a bright June day, I caught up my pencil and the words were soon committed to paper.
The pastor of her Baptist church was a musician, and he put the words to music. Two years later, Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey discovered the song, and it became famous, much to the amusement of Annie Hawks.
Hawks reflected, “It was not until years later, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words.” God often allows us to learn in the sunshine what we will need to lean on in the darkness.
The One Year Book of Hymns