Nearer, my God, to Thee

Nearer, my God, to Thee,
  Nearer to Thee;
E’en though it be a cross
  That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
  Nearer to Thee.
Though, like a wanderer,
  The sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me,
  My rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
  Nearer to Thee.
There let me see the sight,
  An open heaven;
All that Thou sendest me,
  In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
  Nearer to Thee.
Then, with my waking thoughts
  Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
  Bethel I’ll raise,
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
  Nearer to Thee.
Steven Todd

Marble Falls, TX, United States

Lord, I’ll NEVER forget the sweet serenade in Jackson square you gave me...

Truly the nearness of God is my good....

Sophia Abel

Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

While in this season of a ravaging pandemic all we can do as we stay indoors is to be Nearer to God, seeking His face. I pray we all survive. Amen

Ana Lara

United States

“Nearer My God to Thee” is generally thought by hymnodists to be the finest hymn ever written by a woman. Sarah Flower Adams was born in Harlow, England, on February 22, 1805. She died at the early age of forty-three. In her brief lifetime however, Sarah lived a full and productive life. She was an actress in the London stage and was known for her literary accomplishments though her health, being on the decline, was an impediment for her future goals. In 1834 she married a renowned inventor and civil engineer, John Brydges Adams. Thy were married for fourteen years and lived in London until Sarah’s death.

Sarah’s sister, Eliza, was also a talented lady being an accomplished musician, wrote the music for Sarah’s hymn texts. One day their pastor, Reverend William Johnson Fox, asked the two sisters if they would help him in the preparation of a new hymnal he was compiling for the congregation. The two sisters soon contributed thirteen texts and sixty-two new tunes.

The text for this hymn is based on the dream that Jacob had in the desert when he was running away from home after Essau, his brother, had threatened to kill him. Using a rock for a pillow he laid down in the wilderness and dreamt angels ascending and descending on a heavenly ladder. He called the place “Bethel” meaning the House of God.

One day the two sisters were helping their pastor finish the final details for their soon-to-be published hymnal. The pastor told them how he would like them to find a hymn to conclude a sermon he was preparing about Jacob and Essau recorded in Genesis. Eliza responded with enthusiasm, “Sarah, now there’s an excellent idea for a new hymn in our hymnal. Why don’t you write your own hymn about Jacob’s dream? ”

“Splendid! ” Replied the pastor. Later that day after having studied the Genesis account, Sarah began to write. Soon she had put into verse the entire biblical account in these five stanzas still in use today.

It has been said of this hymn that it does not contain anything on the person and work of Christ. Sarah attended the Unitarian Church most of her life which explains why it may not contain evangelical fervor. This hymn however, is found in nearly every published hymnal and has been translated into many languages. At the end of her life, there is evidence Sarah had a conversion experience and began to attend a Baptist congregation in London.

In 1841 the hymnal “Hymns and Anthems” was published for Fox’s Unitarian Congregation in London. “Nearer My God to Thee” was one of the hymns included in the hymnal. Three years later, in 1844, the hymn was introduced in America but did not gain popularity for twelve years until the present tune was written for it

“Bethany” composed especially for the text by Lowell Mason.

Many interesting incidents have been associated with the use of this hymn. In 1871 three prominent theologians, Professors Hitchcock, Smith and Park, were traveling in Palestine when they heard this hymn being sung from a distance. Drawing near, they saw, much to their surprise, fifty Syrian students standing under a tree in a circle, singing in Arabic language “Nearer My God to Thee. ” Professor Hitchcock remarked later that these students‘ singing that hymn had affected him more than any other singing he had ever heard before.

During the Johnson City Flood of May, 21 1889, a railroad train went into the swirling waters. One car was turned on end and in it was a woman trapped beyond hope of rescue. She had been on her way to the Far East as a missionary. The young lady spoke in a calm voice to the awe-stricken crowd looking on helplessly. Then she prayed and sang “Nearer My God to Thee, ” at which time she was joined by the sorrowful sympathizers. As she sang, she was ushered into the presence of the God of whom she sang.

This was President William McKinley’s favorite hymn, and he was heard to have whispered it as he was dying. The hymn was used in his funeral and throughout the country in 1901. In 1912, the music band of the Titanic played it as 1, 500 people sank in the Atlantic’s icy waters.

Ranjit Doley

Jorhat, Assam, India

A hymn of prayer that connects our hearts, minds and soul to our God Almighty.

Motunrayo Stephanie Adeyemo

Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

It a beautiful song, it was played on my friend's mums service of songs. Mrs Christiana Iyabo OBI. Rest on in peace a Great Woman. U were truly loved.

Big John God Bless!

Coalsnaughton, Clacks, United Kingdom

mmm such a good hymn, was played at my brothers funeral! thanks from big john, the 88 year old pensioner from coalsnaughton.


Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Awesome song, it wakes up my inner me.


Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria



Manchester, Zimbabwe

Nice song

Cece Harris

Brooklyn, NY, United States

I long to be nearer to Thee.

Nearer to Your will for me.

Nearer to Your likeness.

Less of me=more of You.

This song is so dear.

Thank you for these Hymnal lyrics. 🕊💞🎶💯💌