NEW MONTHLY FEATURE – The Story Behind the Song


How Great Thou Art


This is a hymn about kingship, majesty, praise and worthiness.  Its history is rooted in a poem written by the Swedish Minister Carl Gustav Boberg in 1888.  The poem was composed during a thunderstorm hence the references to the thunderous nature of God. It was discovered and translated by the English missionary Stuart Hine working in Ukraine in 1949. He adapted the poem and wrote original English words and in time a subsequent verse. The hymn was born and set to a beautiful Swedish melody.

This hymn of praise was used by Billy Graham in his crusades during the 1950’s and today it still remains a popular hymn and is sung all over the world.

The hymn has references to  Psalm 92:5  ‘O Lord my God how great are thy works’ and Psalm 29 :3-4 ‘ The God of glory thunders over the mighty waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful.’

Of the hymn’s importance Stuart Hine said: “When we reach that heavenly home, we will fully understand the greatness of God, and will bow in humble adoration, saying to Him, O Lord my God, how great thou art.” May we all live in such a way that we will be ready when Jesus Christ appears to receive the saints. Our heavenly home awaits us, all of those who have received Christ in obedience.’


O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”


Check out a couple of different versions here and here.



To God be the Glory


The author Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn  ‘To God Be The Glory’ in 1872.  Fanny Crosby was a prolific hymn writer having written approximately 7000 hymns. Fanny was blinded as a child but it is testament to her faith that she continued to write such uplifting songs. ‘To God be the Glory’ is ultimately a hymns of praise about the character of God,  the gift of his son and the promise of eternal life. Initially ‘To God Be The Glory’ was not a popular hymn .  In 1954 Billy Graham used this hymn on his London Crusade as he was impressed with its strong note of praise.  It was a success and it was sung almost every night and it was adopted as one of the standard songs for the Crusades. This was the catalyst to its increasing popularity. It is a hymn of praise with a tune to get our hearts dancing as we praise God. Music is so important to Worship as it encourages engagement with the Holy Spirit and during the Worship.


To God be the glory, great things He hath done

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son

Who yielded His life our redemption to win

And opened the life-gate that all may go in


Praise the Lord, praise the Lord

Let the earth hear His voice

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord

Let the people rejoice

O come to the Father through Jesus the Son

And give Him the glory great things He hath done


0 perfect redemption the purchase of blood

To every believer the promise of God

The vilest offender who truly believes

That moment from Jesus a pardon receives


Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son

But purer, and higher, and greater will be

Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see


Listen here for a more modern take or here for the traditional version.