Nearer my God to Thee Story

Throughout history, believers have yearned for a sense of the presence of God--a "ladder to heaven"--in their lives. The Bible is filled with stories of God’s love and grace and of ordinary people called to be disciples.

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus promises “where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” The book of Psalms displays powerful expressions of feeling the presence of God…or not.                                                                        

Nearer my God to Thee - Ladder to Heaven

Jacob felt God’s presence in a dream. Genesis 28:10-22 describes a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with God’s angels ascending and descending on it. Sarah Flower Evans made this story the backbone of her great hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee.” Phrases such as, “angels to beckon me nearer my God to thee” clearly indicate a connection with Jacob’s encounter.

Power of Hymns

Hymns have a power to connect believers with God and with each other. Music amplifies the power of the lyrics and provides an additional mystical dimension of connection. As a result, this connection is both highly personal and powerfully corporate, connecting past, present and future.

Hymns are statements of faith by Christians. These statements connect believers over 2000 years of history since the time of Jesus Christ and his disciples. Therefore, they strengthen, comfort and empower believers facing the challenges of living the faith, today. Singing hymns enables each believer to unite their uniquely individual voice into a chorus of voices in unison.

Communion of the Saints

In summary, Hymns are expressions of faith by believers spanning the centuries since the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hymns connect believers to God in prayer and praise. In singing hymns, believers connect with other believers, past, present and future—the communion of the saints. What a wonderful faith music connection, a ladder to heaven!

About the Author Larry Frazier

Larry spent 24 years teaching music at the University of West Georgia to over 6,000 students. Ten years ago, Larry and his wife Mary Lynn, received comfort, support and inspiration from traditional Christian hymns while she overcame stage-three colon cancer. Larry is on a mission to help you discover God’s incredible power through the intersection of faith and Christian music in your life.