“I need Thee ev’ry hour, most gracious Lord.” Annie Hawks was busy about her household chores one day when she started thinking about how much she depended on the Lord to help her through the day. Inspired, she took pencil and paper and began to write. The words came quickly and easily. She never imagined that her hasty verse would mean anything to anyone.
But then her pastor, Dr. Robert Lowry set her verse to music (and added the refrain: “I need Thee, O I need Thee”) — and then the famous evangelist Dwight L. Moody and his song leader, Ira Sankey, discovered the song — and then the song itself became famous, much to Mrs. Hawk’s surprise.
But it is no wonder that this hymn became so well known. Who among us hasn’t felt a great need for God — for God’s presence — for God’s guidance — for God’s help? The need that Mrs. Hawks felt for God is a need that all of us feel at some time in our lives. Her little verse expressed the deepest feelings of her heart — and of our hearts as well. That is why this hymn has been a favorite for more than a century.
— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan