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“There Shall Be Showers of Blessing!” The Story Behind The Hymn!

Updated: Jul 30



The Story Behind the Hymn— “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing!”



The hymn “There Shall be Showers of Blessings” was composed by Major Daniel Webster Whittle. Born on November 22, 1840 in Chicope Falls, Massachusetts. He would later move to Chicago, Illinois in 1857. He then began attending a Congregational Church and became a regular Bible class attender. “In 1862, he married Abbie Hanson.”[1] He was converted During the Civil War. He gave testimony to his conversion experience in the book Twice Born Men. He relates how:


When the Civil War broke out, I left my home in New England and came to Virginia as lieutenant of a company in a Massachusetts regiment. My dear mother was a devout Christian, and parted from me with many a tear, and followed me with many a prayer. She had placed a New Testament in a pocket of the haversack that she arranged for me.


We had many engagements, and I saw many sad sights, and in one of the battles I was knocked out, and that night my arm was amputated above the elbow. As I grew better, having a desire for something to read, I felt in my haversack, which I had been allowed to keep, and found the little [New] Testament my mother had placed there.


I read right through the book – Matthew, Mark, Luke, to Revelation. Every part was interesting to me; and I found to my surprise that I could understand it in a way that I never had before. When I had finished Revelation, I began at Matthew, and read it through again. And so, for days I continued reading, and with continued interest; and still with no thought of becoming a Christian, I saw clearly from what I read the way of salvation through Christ.

While laying [sic] in the hospital, a young man begged a nurse to pray for him, but she refused. He then begged Daniel who said “I can’t pray. I never prayed in my life. I am just as wicked as you are.”


The young man begged Daniel to pray for him. He felt God speaking to him, so he knelt at the boy’s bedside confessing first his sins and then praying for the young man. By the time he finished, the young man had peacefully passed from this life. [2]


Whittle recounted later, “I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few brok­en words I con­fessed my sins and asked Christ to for­give me. I be­lieved right there that He did for­give me. I then prayed ear­nest­ly for the boy. He be­came qui­et and pressed my hand as I prayed and plead­ed God’s prom­ises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I can­not but be­lieve that God who used him to bring me to the Sav­ior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s pre­cious blood and find par­don. I hope to meet him in hea­ven.” [3]


Whittle was granted the rank of Major towards the end of the conflict. This procured for him the title of “Major” thereafter. “Following the work [war] he went to work for the Elgin Watch Company.” [4]


Eventually he went joined the well-known Evangelist Dwight L. Moody as an associate evangelist and hymn writer. In addition to There Shall Be Showers of Blessing he composed I Know Whom I Have Believed. [5]


Whittle’s daughter married Moody’s son. Moody would laud Whittle saying, “I think Major Whittle has written some of the best hymns of the century.” [6] Whittle died March 4, 1901. James Mc Granahan, who often traveled sharing the gospel with Major Whittle, composed the music for There Shall Be Showers of Blessings.[7]


Now you know the story behind the hymn. Here are the lyrics.


Stanza One:


There shall be showers of blessing: This is the promise of love; There shall be seasons refreshing, Sent from the Savior above.


Refrain:


Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need: Mercy-drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.


Stanza Two:


There shall be showers of blessing, Precious reviving again; Over the hills and the valleys, Sound of abundance of rain.


Stanza Three:


There shall be showers of blessing; Send them upon us, O Lord; Grant to us now a refreshing, Come, and now honor Thy Word.


Stanza Four:


There shall be showers of blessing: Oh, that today they might fall, Now as to God we’re confessing, Now as on Jesus we call!


Stanza Five:


There shall be showers of blessing, If we but trust and obey; There shall be seasons refreshing, If we let God have His way.


Lyrics for “Showers of Blessing” taken from the internet source: https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/There_Shall_Be_Showers_of_Blessing/



[1] Internet source consulted https://dianaleaghmatthews.com/there-shall-be-showers-of-blessings/#.X8DyTM1KjIU retrieved November 27, 2020. [2] Ibid. [3] Ibid. [4] Ibid. [5] Ibid. [6] Ibid. [7] Ibid.

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