What Are the 10 Most Beloved Hymns?
How is it possible to find the 10 most beloved hymns? I can tell you, doing this was difficult. As with any countdown or list, when you limit it to only ten, some really great and beloved hymns are going to be left out. I will admit there may be a little subjectivity (maybe a lot) to this list, but I think (or maybe hope) you will agree with most of them. What I know is if you ever need an encouragement or a lift, these 10 hymns will do that for you.
With that, let’s begin with number 10.
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10. “At the Cross”
“At the cross, at the cross
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!”
It is difficult to talk about beloved hymns without talking about the cross. For every one of us, our salvation is only possible because of the cross. Hymns about the cross are glorious reminders of the price Jesus paid for our salvation. When you consider the words and the vivid language of the burden of our heart being rolled away, this hymn truly captures for so many that moment when Jesus came and saved us.
9. “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus”
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.”
Hymns like this one are hymns of refocusing. It is so easy to get distracted by what is happening in the world. We have a non-stop 24-hour news cycle and we walk around with the biggest distraction of all time – the cell phone. With this much access to information, it can cause us to lose sight of what is most important.
This hymn calls us to look into Jesus’ face and discover he is more important than all the surrounding things. As Corrie Ten Boom said, “You can never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” I believe this song reminds us of that.
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8. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
This hymn made the list because it reminds us that Jesus is with us all the time. So often we run everywhere else before we run to Jesus. I know I have done that far too many times. Hymns like this remind us not only to run to Jesus, but that he is approachable. He sees us as friends and welcomes us into his presence. We should full take advantage of this invitation, which all too often we choose not to do.
7. “Grace Greater Than Our Sin”
“Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!”
We often think of the need for God’s grace when we first come to Christ because it is by grace you are saved. However, God’s grace is something we are always going to need because we all fall short. The good news is his grace never falls short. It is there to cleanse us when we sin from the day we accept Christ as savior until the day he calls us home. Regardless of what you have done, his grace will always be greater than your sin.
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6. “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”
“All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.”
This hymn made the list because it speaks to the majesty of who Jesus is. Whenever I hear this hymn, it takes me to the throne room of heaven. One day we will all bow before that throne and crown him as Lord of all. However, when I hear this hymn, it reminds me I don’t have to wait until then. We can crown him as Lord of all right now.
5. “Holy, Holy, Holy”
“Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee
Holy, holy, holy!
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
One of God’s greatest attributes is his holiness. There used to be a time where we celebrated holiness as a reminder of who God is. This song brings it all backs and can offer encouragement for us to be holy because our God is holy.
4. “It Is Well with My Soul”
“When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
This is another hymn that helps to bring perspective. This is akin to giving thanks in all situations. Whatever our lot in life, we can give thanks and say it is well because no matter how difficult it gets, it is only for a season. One day our faith will be sight and then we will proclaim forever “it is well with my soul.”
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3. “How Great Thou Art”
“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art.”
You could classify this as a drop the mic song because the chorus of this hymn says it all. Hymns like these are humbling as they remind you of how great our God truly is. With that, I am going to drop the mic.
2. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
“Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”
One of God’s most endearing qualities is his faithfulness. Just think of all the times you have failed or been unfaithful. If you can’t think of any, I am sure I have enough for you. Yet, despite this, God remains faithful. I am certain you can say in your life God has remained true to his word and everything he promised to do and be in your life he has been. This hymn celebrates how faithful God has been.
1. “Amazing Grace”
“Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see.”
“Amazing Grace” is not only popular to sing, but it is one of the most recorded songs of all time. One estimate states this song has appeared on over 11,000 albums. Beyond its popularity, the message of the song is timeless. It tells the story of our salvation and, most important, of the grace that will save us and the grace that will keep us. It is so good to know that God doesn’t just have grace to help you start the journey; he has grace to help you finish the journey. That is the story of his amazing grace.
I hope you enjoyed the list. I know you probably have some great hymns in mind that you believe should have made this list, but remember I had to shorten the list to ten. If there is a hymn you think should have made the top ten, feel free to let me know as I would love to know your top ten. In the meantime, feel free to pull these out when necessary and let the message of these hymns encourage you, and most of all inspire you to worship our great God.
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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.