Many of our hymns and gospel songs are born out of adversity and tragedy. Such is the case with “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
Thomas A. Dorsey grew up as the son of a preacher. He was a successful jazz and blues musician in Chicago after he strayed from the Lord. Later he felt God had saved him from several close calls with death; he came back to the Lord and began to write gospel songs and sing in church meetings.
In 1932 he reluctantly traveled to St. Louis to lead the music for a large revival meeting. He hesitated to go since his wife was pregnant and her delivery time was close. During the meetings, Dorsey received word that the baby was born, but his wife had died during childbirth. He rushed back to Chicago and held his infant son in his arms, only to have him die a few hours later. Dorsey went into depression and doubt: he was trying to serve God, and this is what happened. It is said that in his anger, he told the Lord, “God, You aren’t worth a dime to me right now!”
A few weeks later, still devastated, the words and music to “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” just came to him. God’s words in Isaiah 41:13 became very clear to him: “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” The song became very popular and is included in many hymnals, continuing to minister to people today!
All rights reserved. Without the express written permission of the publisher, this publication may not be reproduced or transmitted, whether in whole or in part, in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, storage retrieval system, recording, or any other.