“Precious Lord Take My Hand”

  The story, behind the writing of the song, “Precious Lord Take My Hand” holds great meaning.  When I checked it, on Internet, I got a different version, which I want to share with you.  It does not matter which rendition of it you think is true, they are very much alike. 

  “Tommy Dorsey, the composer of “Precious Lord Take My Hand,” was a jazz pianist and composer born in 1899 and died in 1993.  He is regarded by many as the father of gospel music.  After a successful career as a blues musician, he switched to gospel music.  For more than 40 years, he was the choir director of Chicago’s Pilgrim Baptist Church.

  This is the tragic story of the death of his wife, as accounted for in his own words for Guidepost Magazine.  Dorsey said he was actually scheduled to be in St. Louis to sing for a revival.  He had anxiety about going because his wife was in her 9th month of pregnancy.  When he left his home to head for St. Louis, he realized that he had forgotten his music case, so he returned to get it and found his wife sleeping.  He stood next to her and felt that something was telling him to stay home.  He decided to leave and headed back to his car for  the drive to the meetings.  The next night, at the revival, and after he had finished singing, a telegram was handed to him that said, his wife had just died. 
He returned home to learn that his wife had given birth to a baby boy before she died.  Before the night was over, the baby had died as well. 

  Dorsey went through a difficult period after that.  He said he wanted to give up serving the Lord and go back to jazz.  One of the thoughts that haunted him was whether his reluctance to leave his pregnant wife had been a leading from God, and whether he had been disobedient by ignoring it.  He vowed that he would never be insensitive to such a leading again.  It was during a subsequent visit to a friend that he sat down at a piano and found himself at peace and played a melody.  That became the song, “”Precious Lord Take My Hand.” 

  Dorsey wrote, “As the Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit.  I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.  And so I go on livng for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

  “Precious Lord, take my hand…lead me on…and help me stand…through the dark and through the night…lead me on…to the right.”

  God is able to keep those who are committed to Him.

  What a beautiful doxology Jude pens:  “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen”      Jude verses 24-25

2 Responses to ““Precious Lord Take My Hand””

  1. After graduation from high school, I went to Houston, TX where I lived for a year and had my first job after leaving home. One of my memories of that period of my life was to hear Tommie Dorsey play in his band. I never knew his story about his wife until not long ago. The song “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” is one that comes to mind when HE is needed in my life. Of course HE is needed every moment of every day.

  2. Max, Inever knew any of this information about Tommy Dorsey. Thanks for sharing such a touching and inspirational message.

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