The story says that as Annie S. Hawks was busying herself with her usual household chores, she began to think about the closeness that one ought to have with God. She then sat down to write the lines of the poem that would eventually evolve into the soul-stirring song we know today. After contemplating the lyrics of the song there are several lessons that come to mind.
- First, we must have a desire to have God in our lives. James wrote, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw night to you…” (Jas. 4:8). When we consider all of the joy and blessings that God provides for His people, why would we ever desire anything other than His fellowship?
- Second, in order to really “need God every hour,” we must make room for Him. Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” (1 Pet. 3:15). The word, “sanctify” means, “To separate from profane things and dedicate to God.” The idea is that we are to remove worldly things from our hearts and make room for the Lord. A person can never say to God, “I need Thee every hour,” if they have filled their hearts so full of worldliness and selfishness that there is no room left for Him.
- Third, we must have faith in the goodness of God. Implicit in the cry, “I need Thee every hour,” is a confidence that God will provide the care we need. God has promised, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Do we truly believe it?
Shortly before her death Annie Hawks reflected on the impact of her song. She said, “At first I did not understand why the hymn so greatly touched the throbbing heart of humanity. Years later, however, under the shadow of a great loss, I came to understand something of the comforting power of the words I had been permitted to give out to others in my hours of sweet serenity and peace.” It is easy for us to say that we need our Heavenly Father during a time of pain, and many of us understand that need so much more during those times. But, our lives will be so much better when we realize that we need our Father every hour, of every day that we live.