Gospel Song – Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Gospel Song – Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Gospel Song – Precious Lord, Take my Hand.

Thomas Dorsey, the “Father of Gospel Music,” composed this song in 1932 after a horrific tragedy in his life. During the childbirth of his first child, his beloved wife died. Soon thereafter, his newborn son also died. Understandably, Dorsey sank into deep despair, withdrawing from his family and friends, and from his music. He wrote later… “I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs.” After the funeral, in which his wife and son were put into the same casket, a friend had the insight to arrange a music room with a piano to be made available to Mr. Dorsey. He was sick with grief at this point. While sitting at the piano, he started just fiddling around with the keys. While merely touching the piano keys in no certain melody, he felt a stirring of hope. He said later… “I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God.” While sitting there at the piano, he started playing an unfamiliar melody, and then said, “The words just came into my head. They just seemed to fall into place.” Since the time it was first recorded in 1937, this song has become what many call “the greatest gospel song of all time.” It has been translated into at least 32 languages around the world. Thomas Dorsey himself said “This is the greatest song I have written,” which is saying a lot since he wrote over 1,000 gospel songs. “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” seems to capture grief, but also hope and faith. It’s clear that Thomas Dorsey trusted the Good Shepherd would take his hand at this difficult time and lead him home. “For I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’ ” (Isaiah 41:13). (For a bio sketch of Mr. Dorsey’s life, refer to the post “Come, let us go back to God.” For more on Mahalia Jackson, refer to “Soon will be done.”).

LYRICS – Precious Lord, Take My Hand

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 light is almost gone.

Hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home. 

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. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.


“The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows, he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.

Your rod and staff protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”   (Psalm 23, NLT).