There is something so grounding about the act of holding someone’s hand. Whether platonic or romantic, holding someone’s hand has long been a standard in acts of intimacy for a reason. Not only does it offer a person reassurance, but also a symbol of solidarity and closeness with another person. Whether from a parent to a child, siblings, friends, or romantic partners, taking someone’s hand says so much with so little. So when we think about our relationship with the Lord, about asking Him to take our hand – how much more could be provide in doing so?
“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is a gospel song written by Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the “Father of Gospel Music,” in 1932. The song is considered one of the most famous and enduring gospel songs of all time and has been covered by many artists over the years. Pioneering the union between gospel music and jazz, Author Anthony Heilbut described the influence Dorsey had on gospel music by saying he “combined the good news of gospel with the bad news of blues.”
Dorsey wrote the song after the tragic death of his wife and newborn son. The lyrics express a deep sense of longing for guidance and comfort in times of grief and hardship. Not only is “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” a plea for how to move forward, but also for the peace that only the presence of the Lord can provide. He wrote from the depths of his own personal darkness with the lyrics: “I am tired, I’m weak, I am worn / Through the storm, through the night / Lead me on to the light / Take my hand, precious Lord / Lead me home.”
In 1968, the song was performed by Mahalia Jackson at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr. It was also performed by Whitney Houston at the memorial service for Michael Jackson in 2009. The song has been covered by many other artists, including Elvis Presley, who included it in his live performances and recorded it on his album “He Touched Me” in 1972, and more recently, it has been covered by country music singer Brad Paisley on his album “Love and War” in 2017.
“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” has become an enduring classic, and its message of hope and faith in difficult times continues to resonate with audiences today. Praise the Lord that as believers, we can hold fast to the truth of the promise recorded in Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Do you have a hymn or song you would like to know more about? Feel free to send in a request at email@example.com or by giving me a call at 205-926-9769. I would love to hear from you!