How often we have felt this! But…how often has our desperation really worked itself out in our actually making the request? Here is some good commentary from JFB:
“It is useless concealing from Thee, O Thou mysterious, mighty Healer, the unbelief that still struggles in this heart of mine; but that heart bears me witness that I do believe in Thee; and if distrust still remains, I disown it, I wrestle with it, I seek help from Thee against it.” Two things are very remarkable here: First, The felt and owned presence of unbelief, which only the strength of the man’s faith could have so revealed to his own consciousness. Second, His appeal to Christ for help against his felt unbelief–a feature in the case quite unparalleled, and showing, more than all protestations could have done, the insight he had attained into the existence of a power in Christ more glorious them any he had besought for his poor child. The work was done; and as the commotion and confusion in the crowd was now increasing, Jesus at once, as Lord of spirits, gives the word of command to the dumb and deaf spirit to be gone, never again to return to his victim.”
And to shed more light, this brief word from RWP:
“I believe; help my unbelief. An exact description of his mental and spiritual state. He still had faith, but craved more. Note present imperative here (continuous help)…. The word (means) a cry… to run at a cry for help, a vivid picture of this father’s plight.”
This I like. It was not a dismissing of weak faith, it was the requesting of more to bolster it! It was a request for ongoing help, not just for this current need…an acknowledgement of continual need. And to add more “punch” to it, the word used is to suggest a desperate, frantic cry for help in time of emergency…that kind of cry that emits from us when we make a quick evaluation of things and it is clear there is absolutely no hope, no answer, except from outside of us. In reality, this is always the case…not just in times of pressing need.
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I was particularly blessed when reading the history of this song, that it was written by someone without public notoriety, a common housewife like many of us:
“One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, “I Need Thee Every Hour,” were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me.” ~Annie S. Hawks, 1872