the weblog of Alan Knox

I Need Thee Every Hour

Posted by on Aug 24, 2010 in discipleship, edification, gathering | 6 comments

I Need Thee Every Hour

When we get together with the church, we often sing songs together. This is not unusual, of course, because many believers sing songs when they gather with the church.

Sometimes we sing old songs and hymns, and sometimes we sing newer songs. This is not unusual either, because many churches sing a mix of older and new songs.

But, when we sing songs together, we will often stop and talk about the songs. This is the only church that I’ve ever met with that actually talked about the songs that they sang.

Last Sunday, when we were meeting together, we sang a hymn called “I Need Thee Every Hour.” After we finished singing, I asked my brothers and sisters about the song. Specifically, I asked if anyone would be willing to share how God was teaching them to rely on him every moment of every day.

Several people spoke up. One brother said that he had been struggling with obeying God. There were several things that he knew that he should be doing in order to obey God, but he always claimed to be too tired or to not have enough time. Lately, he said, he was learning to accept the conviction of the Holy Spirit and rely on God to give him the strength and time to do whatever God called him to do.

A sister shared about something that happened in her family. In fact, it happened to her 13 year old son. She gave him permission to share, because he had shared it with his family. During the past week, while doing some errands with his father, this young man was struggling with his attitude. He said he recognized his sin and began praying. His countenance changed and he began working with joy. His father testified that he noticed the difference, and the reason the family knew that the boy had prayed for help is that the father asked his son what had caused the difference.

A few other people shared as well. And, each one that shared encouraged us to rely on God every moment of every day. They either encouraged us directly or through their stories.

I love it when we talk about the songs that we sing. I love it when God uses those times to encourage, challenge, and even admonish his children.

Do you remember a song that you sang with the church recently? What does that song stick in your memory? What is God teaching you through that?


6 Comments

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  1. 8-24-2010

    Alan,

    I love this idea. It reminds me of the true meaning of “hallelujah”; which, translated literally, is “all of you, praise the Lord!” We often sing that word with our eyes closed and, for the more spiritual (wink-wink), with our hands in the air, TO the Lord. Rather, we should be singing it with our eyes opened, looking at our brothers and sisters, and telling them to praise the Lord.

    Using the hymns/songs as a teaching moment, and to give testimony about how the Lord is at work in our little corner of the world, reinforces this idea greatly. I like it.

    Andy

  2. 8-24-2010

    Talking about what we sing is one of the common practices shared by the house churches we relate to here in Ecuador. A thought/testimony shared about the song usually leads to a Scripture that comes to somebody’s mind, or even a teaching. Another thing we try to do is sing a balance of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Since Paul exhorts the churches TWICE to follow this pattern, we figure there must be something to it and seek to obey.

  3. 8-24-2010

    I love this post. I love those lyrics and I love that people were willing to share what the lyrics meant to them. I’ve always struggled with debilitating fear. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized just how drastically it was impacting my life. My prayers were always selfish. I was always begging for peace and understanding. I had built myself into a box of fear and anxiety, I couldn’t see the way out. It was after my gracious husband pointed out to me that my constant fear and worry was sin, that my attitude shifted and my prayers changed. It amazes me how easily fear can slip in and take root. Before I even know whats happening I’m drowning in anxiety.It takes clinging to Christ literally every hour of my day to get through.
    Thank you for this post, it was very encouraging to me!

  4. 8-24-2010

    Thanks for the replies. I’m glad that others are doing this or are interested in it.

    -Alan

  5. 11-20-2010

    Interesting post. And I like the idea of sharing together about the hymns we sing. Another way to do it is to ask for “favourites,” and ask the individual who requests a song why it’s a favourite.

    If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.

    And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at my own, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)

  6. 11-20-2010

    Robert,

    Thanks for the comment. Actually, we often do ask people to suggest songs to sing. Then, we ask why they want to sing that song. It is a great way to get people to listen to what they’re singing and to think seriously about it.

    -Alan