Five Days of Hymn Stories
Abide with Me
Stay with us, for it is nearly evening;
the day is almost over.
Abide with Me is one of the best-known and most-loved hymns of the past two centuries. It was composed by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte in 1847, the same year he died of tuberculosis at age fifty-four.
The hymn is a prayer for God’s presence in all seasons of life: when “darkness deepens,” “helpers fail,” “earth’s joys grow dim,” “through cloud and sunshine,” “in life, in death.”
The opening line alludes to Luke 24:29, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent” (KJV). Each verse ends with the appeal, “abide with me”. . .
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Peace comes not from the absence of trouble,
but from the presence of God.