My will is weak, my strength is frail

My will is weak, my strength is frail,
And all my hope is nearly gone;
I can but trust Thy working true
To gently hold and lead me on.
I’ve tried my best, but still have failed,
E’en as before I’ve failed and erred;
Thy patience is my only trust
To hold and keep me to Thy word.
Whene’er my heart is lifted up,
How very near I am to fall;
I dare not do, I dare not think,
I need Thyself in great or small.
Thou art my Savior, strength and stay,
O Lord, I come to seek Thy face;
Though I’m the weakest of the weak,
My strength is nothing but Thy grace.
Maurice Ward

Columbus, Ohio, United States

Greater power I pray not, deeper death is what I need.

This is not a lament of how weak we are and a yearning for something more to change this about ourselves, but this is a deep realization that we are weak and unable in both what is great and what is small. Therefore, we rejoice in our weaknesses and lay hold of Christ who as our grace is our very strength.

Fred Northrupp

Crescent City, CA, United States

I used to think this hymn was a kind of soulish whining until I saw that it was written by Watchman Nee. Now I realize it is the testimony of a person who has lost all confidence in the flesh and I appreciate it and enjoy it much more.

Sunny Olatunji


Hallelujah... AMEN


Los Angeles, CA, United States

My strength is nothing but thy Grace.

Sister Vali

Tirana, Albania

I need Thyself in great or small.


Perth, WA, Australia

Thank You Lord this age is so wicked and our will is weak and our strength is fail, but thank You Lord we can trust in You, not depend on ourselves but trust in You. Thank You Lord draw us to You more each day.

Allen In Christ

San Marcos, TX, United States

No matter what age and what stage we are in the Lord our strength isn’t in ourselves but in His grace. Thousands of failures help us to realize that we utterly need the Lord.

Yookyung Kim

Busan, South Korea

Amen. I've failed and disappointed every single day, but Lord, You're still in me, with me.

You're everything I have, what a glory!! Thank You LORD ;)

Ryan Danek

United States

My strength is nothing but Thy grace. Lord, I can't go on with out Your grace.

Liliana Venegas

San Antonio, Tx, United States

I don't know the tune to this song very well. But the lyrics are so rich. Oh Lord Jesus my strength is nothing but Thy grace. :)

After you have overcome and stopped sinning for a week, two weeks, three weeks, or even four or five weeks, you think that you have become good, that you have changed, and that you have matured. You may begin to appreciate yourself and boast in yourself. Therefore, God will give you a test and make you fail so that you will realize that you have not changed at all. If you can endure anything, it is not because you have changed but because you are exchanged. The Lord has endured in your place. If you think that you are changed, you will surely fail. You have to realize that if there is any endurance in you, it is Christ who is enduring for you. If there is any meekness in you, it is Christ who is being the meek One for you. If there is any holiness in you, it is Christ who is your holiness. No matter how long you have overcome, you are still you; you will always be you, and you will never change. Watchman Nee will always be Watchman Nee. After fifty years, he will still be Watchman Nee. Once grace leaves, the only thing that is left is just Watchman Nee. I thank and praise the Lord that victory is Christ and that it has nothing to do with me. I can still sin; I have not changed at all.

A few missionaries from the China Inland Mission in Chefoo once asked me about the difference between a change and an exchange. I said that without grace Paul, John, and Peter would have been just sinners. Paul, John, and Peter would have been the same as any ordinary men if grace had been taken away from them. If we take grace away from a person, he becomes the same as the robbers and the prostitutes in the streets. Grace means Christ replacing us. This does not mean that I have any change in myself. One hymn has a line which says, "Whene'er my heart is lifted up,/How very near I am to fall" (Hymns, #578). This is indeed true. Brothers and sisters, we have to realize that we are still the same; we have not changed at all.

This is a good hymn directed toward God.

"My will is weak, my strength is frail." Inwardly the will is weak, while outwardly the strength is frail. Inwardly one wants to will, but he is too weak. Outwardly he wants to do something, but he is too frail. He can neither will nor run. Thus "all my hope is nearly gone." What else can he do? He can only "trust Thy working true." At first the writer was talking to himself, but now he turns to God. He comes to God and looks to Him "to gently hold and lead me on." This means that other than the Lord's gentle step-by-step leading, he now has no more hope. This is where he stands.

Following this, we have the next line: "I've tried my best, but still have failed." This is not preaching; this is poetry. "E'en as before I've failed and erred." What should he do? "Thy patience is my only trust." He trusts in the Lord's patience to do what? "To hold and keep me to Thy word." He has no other hope. His only hope is in the Lord's power. It is His power that holds and keeps him in obedience. He sees himself as being completely hopeless; he is clear about himself.

In the third stanza, we see a man of God climbing slowly upward. "Whene'er my heart is lifted up"—this means whenever he is slightly proud and self-appreciating (only very slightly)—"How very near I am to fall." He has had too much of such experiences already. What should he do now? "I dare not do, I dare not think." He dares not do anything; he even dares not think anything. "I need Thyself in great or small"—this means that he needs the Lord in everything and in every place. Here is a person whose sentiments have thoroughly passed through the refining fire. They are not harsh before God. Every word is poetry and full of feeling. Every word touches God and God alone.

However, a person who knows himself does not remain in himself. Eventually, he has to pray to God, "Thou art my Savior, strength and stay,/O Lord, I come to seek Thy face." I have no way, no hope, nothing. I can only come to seek after You. "Though I'm the weakest of the weak"—here he refers back to stanza one. He does not end abruptly. My will is weak. My strength is frail. I cannot will. I cannot run. I am the weakest of the weak. What shall I do? "My strength is nothing but Thy grace." The Lord's grace is all that he needs. It is this grace that enables him to go on.

If our feelings are tested and refined, every time we come to God and touch such a divinely tested and refined hymn, our feeling cannot help but be caught up in it.