I Need Thee Every Hour
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 4:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, John 15:1-11
Text: Hebrews 4:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, John 15:1-11
“…apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5b, NIV
The first time I can remember acknowledging feeling completely and utterly in need of Jesus — not just in theory or heart, but emotionally and physically “if you don’t come, Lord Jesus, I’m not gonna make it” in NEED of the Lord — was when my daughter was two years old.
I adore my daughter. She is stubborn and kind and smart and just the right amount of crazy, and I’m in awe of the way God made her. But when she discovered the art of disobedience I thought it would be the death of me. We went head-to-head on a daily basis—me with my expectations and rules and her with her fearless, freakishly-strong toddler will—and more often than not I’d end up in tears.
What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I do this? Why was I so bad at patience and discipline and grace and having fun, and why was I so emotionally fragile that a two year old could push ALL MY BUTTONS?
To say this was a rough patch in my parenting career would be an understatement.
Oh, but that little girl taught me—teaches me!—what grace looks like. She offers it to me like candy, and I offer it back to her. We apologize a lot. We talk about how we want to love each other well and we ask Jesus to help us do that. We ask Jesus lots of things, actually.
I ask Jesus to help me mother. I ask Jesus to help me listen to my friends and really love them. I ask Him to help me look strangers in the eye and really see them.
I ask Jesus to care for all the people I love because there are so many I lose count and I don’t get to hug any of them as often as I wish I could. I ask Him to put a blanket of peace and comfort around my friends with achy hearts.
I ask Jesus to fill in the gaps where I’ve been negligent. I ask Him to forgive me of the damage I’ve knowingly and unknowingly caused, to smooth it over with the holy spackle of His grace. I also ask Him to help me write true stories with odd metaphors.
I ask Jesus for all the things, but I don’t ask Him enough.
“Apart from me you can do nothing.” That’s what Jesus says about us in John 15:5. Do you hear the freedom in that today? You and I don’t have to manufacture our own goodness, our own enoughness. Everything good is from Him and for Him.
This hymn has always been one of my favorites, but this quote from author Annie Hawks sealed the deal.
“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.”*
Isn’t that typical of how God loves us? We’re busy doing life the best we can when God gently or not-so-gently nudges us to say, “I’m right here. Can’t you see? I’m what you need.”
May this hymn be the prayer of heart today and every day.
I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
Annie S. Hawks, 1872
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
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.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.
*quote source: cyberhymnal.org
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