Horatio Spafford

This hymn was written after traumatic events in Horatio Spafford’s life. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. (From Wikipedia)

This pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. Some have lost businesses, others have lost loved ones. Some are lonely, others are restless. Some weary, others afraid. Let the words of Spafford’s hymn comfort and encourage you. Make them a prayer of declaration today.

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.

It is well
with my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
my sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.

And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
even so it is well with my soul!


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