Lead Me, Guide Me

I am weak and I need your strength and power

Author: Doris Akers
Published in 22 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Author: Doris Akers

Doris Mae Akers (May 21, 1923 – July 26, 1995) was an American Gospel music composer, arranger and singer. Known for her work with the Sky Pilot Choir, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Doris Akers was born in Brookfield, Missouri to parents Floyd and Pearl Akers. She had nine siblings; Edward, Floyd, Evelyn, Marian, Donald, Nellie, Bernice, Harley, and Charles. The family moved to nearby Kirksville when she was five years old. She learned to play the piano by ear at age six wrote her first song, "Keep The Fire Burning In Me" when she was ten years old. During the 1930s she formed a group with her siblings, Edward, Marian and Donald, who went by the name of "Dot and The Swingsters". In 1945, at the age of… Go to person page >


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 (21)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
African American Heritage Hymnal #474TextImage
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #403TextImage
Chalice Hymnal #583TextImage
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #768TextImage
Gather (3rd ed.) #656Image
Gather Comprehensive #574TextImage
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #555Image
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #740TextImageAudio
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #538
Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #194TextImage
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #329TextImageAudio
Lutheran Service Book #721TextImage
Moravian Book of Worship #728
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #557Image
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #544TextImageAudio
Renew! #176TextImage
Sing the Faith #2214
Songs for Life #220TextImage
The Faith We Sing #2214TextImage
Wonder, Love, and Praise: a supplement to the Hymnal 1982 #756Text
Worship and Rejoice #498TextImage