“I Need Thee Every Hour”, was written in April 1872 by Annie Sherwood Hawks. The hymn is believed to have been inspiried by The Gospel According to John 15: 4-5. Mrs. Hawks said about writing the hymn:
“I remember well the circumstances under which I wrote the hymn. It was a bright June day and I became so filled with the sense of the nearness of my Master that I began to wonder how anyone could live without Him, in either joy or pain. Suddenly, the words I Need Thee Every Hour, flashed into my mind, and very quickly the thought had full possession of me.”
John 15: 4 – 5 (NIV) reads: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
This exhortation by Jesus calls his followers to be present with him or abide in him. This means we must invest time in our relationship with God. How do you invest in your relationships with people? Duh! We spend time with our loved ones talking and listening. So, it is with God. In prayer, God listens and talks to us and we talk and listen to God.
Let’s be honest. Our prayer time is not always disciplined. Sometimes, we have a few minutes here and a couple there. Many of us put in a few minutes before bedtime…and say ‘Amen’ in the morning.
The Liturgy of the Hours or the Divine Office offer a disciplined investment of time in our relationship with God. This practice is quite detailed and requires a great commitment of time. I was having trouble getting started. So, baby steps. A friend suggested I start simple and work up to the full observation. Since she’s a smart gal, I took her advice. I set an alarm on my phone for every 3 hours from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. When the alarm goes off each time, I stop to say “I love you, Lord” or “Thank you, Jesus”.
After 3 weeks, I look at my phone about 15 – 30 minutes before the alarm. In a few short weeks, I am spending a little more time with God. Stick with me as my posts will include the history and practice of the Divine Office.
May Christ’s rich promises be fulfilled in you,
Photo: “Red-Tailed Hawk Perched atop Cathedral of St. John” taken by Robert (rbs10025) on 2007-01-15 3:31 p.m. — “After looking around the northwest corner of Central Park for an hour trying to spot one of the Cathedral hawks, I instead belatedly found one of them perched at, of course, their favorite spot at the Cathedral…”