most gracious Lord
no tender voice like Thine
can peace afford"
Annie 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. Having been encouraged at the gift he saw in her poetry, Hawks showed her verses to him. Lowry added a refrain as he wrote the music for the hymn.
every hour I need Thee
O bless me now, my Savior
I come to Thee"
When it was first published in 1873, this Bible verse was included underneath the title: “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Each of the first four stanzas dwells on a different facet of our dependence on God:
Verse one: Our need for His peace "I need Thee every hour most gracious Lord, No tender voice like Thine can peace afford."
Verse two: Our inability to resist temptation alone "I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby, Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh."
Verse three: Our need to find true meaning in life "I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain, Come quickly and abide, or life is vain."
and, verse four: Our desire to see God's promise "I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will, And Thy rich promises in me fulfill."
The fifth stanza is an intense plea for God's presence "I need Thee every hour, most Holy One, Oh make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son."