PRECIOUS LORD, TAKE MY HAND written in 1932
Thomas Dorsey (1899-1993) popular black singer, was having a successful career in Chicago nightclubs. But, as a Christian, he was often urged to use his musical talents for the Lord.
In 1932, Thomas was invited to go to St. Louis and lead the music for a large revival meeting. He hesitated to accept the invitation because his wife, Nellie, was pregnant. He didn’t want to leave her because her time for delivery was so close. But, he decided to go.
On the second day of the revival meeting, he received a telegram. His wife had given birth… and his wife had died in childbirth. He rushed back to Chicago… and held his newborn baby in his arms. But, in just a few short hours, his infant son died, too. Both mother and son were buried in the same casket.
Thomas was devastated. He was trying to serve God… and this is how he was repayed? In his anger, he told God, “God, You aren’t worth a dime to me right now!”
A few weeks later, still depressed, he sat down at the piano, and the words to a song… this song… came to him. With tears streaming down his face, he sang this song: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” He sang the song for his friend, gospel singer Theodore Frye, and Frye’s choir sang it the next Sunday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago.
God had given Thomas a song that would not only lift him from despair, but would also change the course of his music career. That nightclub singer became a preacher and a singer of gospel music.
Read this hymn, and – today – ask God to lead you through that tough thing you may be going through.
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.
When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near,
when my life is almost gone;
hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall: (Refrain)
When the darkness appears and the night draws near, and the day is past and gone;
at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand: (Refrain)