Lead Me, Guide Me

I am weak and I need your strength and power

Author: Doris Akers
Published in 42 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Representative Text

1 I am weak, and I need Thy strength and power
To help me over my weakest hour;
Let me through the darkness Thy face to see,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

Lead me, guide me along the way;
For if You lead me, I cannot stray;
Lord, let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, O Lord, lead me.

2 Help me tread in the paths of righteousness;
Be my aid when Satan and sin oppress.
I am putting all my trust in Thee,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me. [Refrain]

3 I am lost, if you take your hand from me;
I am blind, without Thy Light to see;
Lord, just always let me Thy servant be,
Lead me, O Lord, lead me. [Refrain]

Source: African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #378

Author: Doris Akers

Doris Mae Akers USA 1923-1995. Born at Brookfield, MO, one of nine siblings, her (inter-racial) parents divorced when she was age three. She then lived with her mother, who remarried when she was age six. They lived in Kirksville, MO. Some of her brothers lived with her father after the divorce. The family attended the Bethel AME Church in Kirksville, where she learned to play piano by ear at age six. She wrote her first song at age 10. In the 1930s she formed a singing gospel group with siblings, Edward, Marian, and Donald, who went by the name ‘Dot and the Swingsters’. Early in her career (1938) she moved to Los Angeles, CA. There she became known for her work with the ‘Sky Pilot Choir’, an integrated group that made recordings… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I am weak and I need your strength and power
Title: Lead Me, Guide Me
Author: Doris Akers
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Lead me, guide me, along the way
Copyright: © 1953, Doris M. Akers. All rights administered by Chappell & Co.


Scripture References:
ref. = Ps. 5:8, Luke 1:79
st. 2 = Ps. 23:3

Doris M. Akers (b. Brookfield, MO, 1922) wrote both text and tune of this African American gospel hymn in 1953 in Oakland, California. The text is an earnest plea for an intimate walk with God, who is asked to lead, guide, and protect the believer. The deeply personal stanzas emphasize that divine guidance is essential because of our lack of strength, our blindness, and Satan's temptations. Only God can lead us on the narrow path and through all the complexities and challenges of earthly life. Like many of the psalms, this text pours out in prayer the yearning of the individual Christian, a prayer that reminds us of these words of the psalmist:

Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness;
make thy way plain before my face.
For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only
that makest me dwell in safety.

-Psalm 4:8; 5:8 (KJV) as set to music by Samuel S. Wesley (PHH 206)

Akers had an active career as singer, choir director, and songwriter. She wrote her first song at age ten and since that time has composed more than three hundred gospel songs and hymns, most of which we republished by Manna Music (including 'There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place"). She resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions of worship, especially those in which personal testimony and prayer for divine guidance are appropriate.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



LEAD ME is representative of the first generation of African American gospel music, a generation that began with Thomas Dorsey (PHH 493) and includes gospel artists such as Roberta Martin, Lucie Campbell, Kenneth Morris, Theodore Frye, and Doris M. Akers. The core of this style is improvisation. Thu…

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Instances (1 - 41 of 41)

African American Heritage Hymnal #474


African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #378

Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #398

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #403

Chalice Hymnal #583

Evangelical Lutheran Worship #768

Gather (3rd ed.) #656

Gather Comprehensive #574

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #555

Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) #621

Text InfoAudio

Glory to God #740

Hymnal Supplement 1991 #807

Hymnal #553

Hymns of Promise #88

Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #654

Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #538

Lift Every Voice and Sing II #194


Lift Up Your Hearts #329

Lutheran Service Book #721

Moravian Book of Worship #728

One in Faith #704

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism #235

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #557

Praise y Adoración #399a

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #544

Renew! Songs and Hymns for Blended Worship #176

RitualSong (2nd ed.) #759

RitualSong #712

Santo, Santo, Santo #582

Sing the Faith #2214

Singing Our Faith #127

Songs for Life #220

The Faith We Sing #2214

The New National Baptist Hymnal (21st Century Edition) #233

This Far By Faith #70

Total Praise #474

Voices Together #601

Wonder, Love, and Praise #756

Worship (4th ed.) #657

Worship and Rejoice #498

Zion still Sings #173

Include 1 pre-1979 instance
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