My Favorite and Why?

“Just nine days later, Horatio Gates Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: “Saved alone,” ( His four daughters had drowned as their mother watched the waters rip them from her arms.

This is the story behind Spafford’s hymn, “It is Well With My Soul.”

And according to the report, “Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out ofNew Yorkto join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father’s voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. “A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, ‘and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.’ Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.”

June, 2011, President Barak Obama declared June as African-American Music Appreciation Month. And in this blog, I am spotlighting the genre hymns.

I remember growing up in church hearing the choir on many occasions singing a hymn. And as they went from verse to verse, while reflecting on the words, the Holy Spirit would take over the services, as the participants would praise God.

My favorite hymn is “It is Well With My Soul.” I fell in love with it after I read/sang the first line, “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,” I thought to myself, “What kind of peace can God give you that is equivalent to the steady, smooth flow of a river?” And I wanted to grow closer to a God who could do this for me in any situation.

What is a hymn? It is “…a lyric poem, reverently and devotionally conceived, which is designed to be sung and which expresses the worshipper’s attitude toward God or God’s purposes in human life. It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional, poetic and literary in style, spiritual in quality, and in its ideas so direct and so immediately apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it,” (

Click on to hear me sing a snippet (first verse and fourth verse) of the song.


About pressonwebzine

Phenola Moore writes blogs on, she is the author of a digital book of poems, "Reveal the Real You Poetry Collection" and you can access pass issues of her online magazine, "Press On! Webzine," She has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English with a minor in Journalism from the University of Maryland University College. Follow her on Twitter @pressonwebzine.
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2 Responses to My Favorite and Why?

  1. Oh wow, I never knew the origin of this hymn, it’s both sad and powerful. Thanks for sharing.

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