Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Do you have a song that often springs up in your thoughts when you feel weary and overwhelmed? One that identifies with the deepest longings of your heart? One that helps you to keep taking the next step forward?

Have you ever heard of the hymn “Precious Lord, Take My Hand?” It was written in 1932 by a man who lost his wife during childbirth. Their child, who seemed fine, died a couple of days later. In the throes of grief and despondency, Thomas Dorsey one day sat down at the piano and began to sing this song that we can identify with and be blessed by yet today.

I cannot count the times, whether I’m weary in body, mind, or spirit, when the words of this hymn bubble up in my heart as a desperate plea to God. The weariness isn’t immediately replaced with energy. The troubles overwhelming me don’t go away. There is no instant light in the stormy darkness of my soul. But there is a quiet strength in my spirit that reminds me God is with me. He will help me and get me through whatever is wearying or stressing me and He will keep leading me on to His light. And someday I will forever be home in His Presence.

“Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.”

As frail, broken children, we need God’s constant reassurance that He is leading us by His precious hand further on this journey to hope, healing, and freedom. It is a journey of pain and sadness, but it is also a journey of hope in Jesus. This same Jesus who had the power to rise from the dead has the power to hold us up. He descended into the darkest depths of despair and yet rose out of it. This same Jesus has the power to pull us up out of the pit of despair and despondency. He who has the power to walk on water and calm the raging seas will get us through every storm and night in our lives. Thank You, Jesus!

What song has special meaning to you?
Why? Will you share with us?

 

28 thoughts on “Precious Lord, Take My Hand

  1. Trudy, honestly, I don’t think I have one “go-to” song when I’m feeling low. Often times, though, when I’m praying or reflecting upon God’s love, snippets of praise songs will start floating around in my head – it’s always heartening!
    And yes, may we all feel God taking us by the hand daily, and leading us closer to His light.
    Blessings!

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    1. Blessings to you, too, Martha! Isn’t it amazing how God strengthens us through songs? Though this particular one comes to me more often than others, especially when I’m feeling weary and overwhelmed, there are so many others that have strengthened my heart, too. I love the praise songs, too. As you say, they are always heartening. May we reach for God’s hand daily to guide us and lead us closer to His light!

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  2. Trudy! I heard this very song at a high school choir concert a few weeks ago, and it has been on my mind ever since. In fact, I almost turned the lyrics into a blog post for this week (needed something quick), but decided not to post anything instead (too much else occupying space in my head right now). 🙂 Anyway, the way the song was performed at the concert nearly turned me into a puddle right then and there … so poignant and beautiful. I loved the story behind the song … very powerful! Thank you for sharing this, my friend!

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    1. Oh wow! It’s good to hear an old hymn is still being performed by high school choirs, Lois. So many hymns and inspirational songs have a story behind them, don’t they? I’m sorry so much is occupying your mind right now, but I’m honored you still stopped in. 🙂 I pray God will breathe peace into into your mind, heart, and life. May we daily put our hand into the hand of our Precious Lord and allow His strength to keep us going!

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  3. Dear Trudy,
    What a beautiful and encouraging post today! I too love the old hymns, and love it when the Lord brings them back to my heart just when I need them. There are so many new worship songs that lead me to His heart though, too! I so appreciate hearing the stories behind some of the songs we know so well–it really makes them more special, doesn’t it? Thank you for bringing encouragement just when I needed it today also. Love and Hugs to you my friend! xoxo

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    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Bettie. I feel, too, that the stories behind songs make them more special. It seems the ones that often minister to our hearts the most are ones that were birthed out of troubles. I love contemporary inspirational songs, too. It’s amazing how, as you say, the Lord brings songs back to our hearts just when we need them. Love and hugs to you, too! May we put our hand in God’s and trust He will never, ever leave us and will bring us through anything!

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  4. Trudy, this is a beautiful song! I’ve never heard it before so I had to look it up and have a listen- I’ll definitely be coming back to listen again. It’s so comforting that when we feel weak we can rest in God’s strength.
    I have lots of songs I love but one I keep coming back to is 10,000 Reasons. It always lifts my spirit and reminds me of how many reasons there are to praise God.

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    1. I love 10,000 reasons, too, Lesley. It’s so good to be reminded of the many reasons there are to praise God. There are so many spirit-lifting songs, aren’t there? I love how God brings into our hearts exactly the one we need at the time. May we daily lean our weakness into God’s faithful strength!

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  5. Yes, I started humming the song as soon as I saw your title. 🙂 I sung this song so much growing up. The words are still meaningful! We all need those reminders that he never leaves us alone. Thanks for this, Trudy!

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    1. It’s awesome how God uses songs/words from years ago to still encourage our hearts, isn’t it? I smiled when I read you started humming the song as soon as you read the title, Lisa. 🙂 May we daily remember that God never leaves us alone, no matter what we’re going through!

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  6. Such beautiful truth, Trudy. Hugs from afar today. We truly serve a God who knows and has carried all our suffering. It seems the most encouraging songs are those written in the depths of pain and sorrow – I think it’s because in those moments we cannot help but pour out our hearts and come as we are – and it is then our loving Father comes in His might to uplift and strengthen us in His life-giving hope. I think that’s why I am always so moved by “It Is Well With My Soul”, a song I sung on repeat after I lost my Mum. Another is “Come as You Are” by Crowder, but I always listened to the version sung by Sarah Reeves (also on repeat).

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    1. Thank you, Anna. Hugs to you, too! It’s so true that “the most encouraging songs are those written in the depths of pain and sorrow.” My husband and I both love “It Is Well With My Soul.” I sometimes sing it in my heart when I walk on a bike trail next to the river. “When peace like a river…” It truly must have been a comfort after the passing of your Mum. I just looked up and listened to “Come As You Are.” Such meaningful lyrics! May we lay down our burdens our shame, and all our brokenness at the feet of Jesus!

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  7. Trudy,
    Isn’t it amazing how the words of a song will resonate with us and seem to fill up our minds just when we need them? Music is such a gift from God (as evidenced by the beautiful words of David’s psalms set to music) and I was just reminded of this on Sunday when the contemporary worship band sang a few verses of Blessed Assurance, a song I heard so often growing up in church. It brought back memories and made me feel so grateful for my childhood being spent in church! xoxo

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    1. Yes, it truly is amazing, Valerie. God always knows exactly what we need, doesn’t He? I love that you bring out what a gift of God music is. Amen! I love “Blessed Assurance,” too. Unfortunately, in the church where I grew up in, these precious hymns weren’t allowed. We could only sing “Psalters.” They were made from the Psalms, and it’s strange that many of the lyrics were actually more comforting and different from the preaching drilled into us. Anyway, we became more familiar with these beautiful hymns after we left that church. 🙂 I’m so glad contemporary worship brought you back to that song and the blessing you had in your childhood. xoxo to you, too! May we cling to the truth that Jesus is ours and we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God!

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  8. Music is so important in our world. And it is all about lifting our spirits so we can do our daily tasks, or help us move through a tough moment. It stirs emotion, memories, and may even get our bodies moving! I’m glad that the Spirit seems to be directing you to songs that lift you through moments of your days, Trudy! Thinking about this, what is coming to mind is the soundtrack of Grease! lol! I think because it reminds me of a time in life where I shared very precious moments with my best friend who passed about 2 and half years ago.

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    1. I’m so sorry your best friend passed away, Lynn. You must miss her so much yet, but I’m glad there is a song where you can think of precious memories with her. Yes, music can truly lift our spirits and help us move through tough moments. May we cling to the Spirit who loves to comfort us in our sorrows and bring joy to our hearts!

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  9. Worship and music is so important to me. It helps to center me just as it did for Thomas Dorsey. I have songs I go to but not one that stands out. It might be a song that happens to speak to me at that time and then I play it on repeat.

    I enjoyed listening to the video of Mr. Dorsey and learning the backstory of the song. Your graphic at the end also left me with such sweet encouragement. Blessings on the rest of your week.

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    1. Music touches a deep part of our souls, doesn’t it? It’s wonderful how God brings to our attention a song that speaks to us specifically for a time we are in. I’m so glad you enjoyed the backstory of this song and were encouraged by the graphic. Truths we need to remember each day, right? May we cling to our God who uniquely created each of us, encourages us to use the voice He’s given us, made us enough in Him, given us a story to tell, and placed us in this life for a special purpose! Blessings to you, too, Mary!

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  10. Trudy, I loved this post. I had never heard this story before. God is so tender in the ways He ministers to us. And music has a way of reaching into those deep places in hearts that little else can.

    One song that has been a help in the hard seasons is, “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns. There are times when I just need to stop the crazy cycle and hear the words of that song.

    So thankful for you, sweet friend. Sending you a couple hugs for this week!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I am so thankful for you as well! Hugs back to you! Yes, God is so tender in the ways He ministers to us. So true how music reaches into the deep places of our hearts. I love “Just Be Held.” I’m so glad it calms you in the midst of this crazy life. I just had to look it up again. It always reminds me to take a deep breath, lay my burdens down, and let Him hold me. He will make all things fall into place, right? May we daily remember He is on the throne and will always make beauty out of ashes!

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  11. Dear Trudy … thanks for resurrecting this old favorite for us this week! I’d forgotten it and appreciate that you’ve brought its honest words and powerful melody back to my heart and mind.

    Bless you, girl …

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    1. I’m so grateful this brought back “its honest words and powerful melody” back to your heart and mind, Linda. Bless you, too! May we daily remember to reach out to God’s proffered hand and let Him support us and lead us to His light!

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  12. Hi Trudy Thanks for this – I did not know that story. So many beautiful songs come out of such tragedy 😦 I appreciated how you said that things don’t get better etc but you feel a quiet strength. That’s been my experience too. We sang an old hymn in church on Sunday that brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of my childhood in a more traditional church. It was Crown Him with Many Crowns. As a little girl I loved this Easter song as it was so triumphant and I could see Him as King as the trumpets played and the golden cross was lifted high and processed down the aisle. Anyway, I love songs and worship is the best. It is where my heart feels at home and close to Jesus too! thanks for this! with hugs xoxo

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    1. Hi Susie! Hugs and xoxo to you, too! It’s so good to hear from you again. I’m glad in your experience, you feel that quiet strength, too. Life doesn’t always get better, but He holds us up, right? I can honestly say I always felt that quiet strength with your poems, too. You didn’t minimize the trouble or sorrow, but you cling to Jesus in it. Thank you for reminding me of that song. I haven’t heard it for so long, so I had to look it up. May we daily crown Him as our Lord of love and life and hail Him as our Matchless King!

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  13. Hi Trudy! I so enjoyed this video, and his singing of the song was so powerful. I had no idea of the history of the music and words, so now, I don’t think I’ll ever see it in quite the same way again. It makes me sad to hear that he’s not been happy since the day his wife died, and his baby too. What a life! Maybe singing that song helps him grieve one step at a time.
    God bless,
    Ceil

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    1. God bless you, too, Ceil! I don’t always check into the story behind songs, but I am finding they add more depth to the words in the song. I am sad, too, that he carried such a heavy load of grief. Like you write – “singing that song helps him grieve one step at a time.” I can’t imagine losing a spouse and child within a week’s time. I would need God’s grace, for sure. And I think he also carried guilt feelings that he wasn’t with her at the time. Those “what-ifs” can make our loads much heavier, right? May we daily put our hand into God’s out-stretched hand and allow Him to lead us in His way, not ours!

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