Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

Here is a hymn that is cherished in my heart. It is written from a singer’s perspective, knowing there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, only Jesus’ grace can give us hope, strengthen our unbelief, comfort us, and heal our hearts when they are broken. I sing this song to myself when times like these arise–sometimes it is hard to find words to pray, but I can repeat this hymn as words in my heart.

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

1 Pass me not, O gentle Savior,

hear my humble cry;

while on others thou art calling,

do not pass me by.


Savior, Savior,

hear my humble cry;

while on others thou art calling,

do not pass me by.

2 Let me at thy throne of mercy

find a sweet relief;

kneeling there in deep contrition,

help my unbelief. [Refrain]

3 Trusting only in thy merit,

would I seek thy face;

heal my wounded, broken spirit,

save me by thy grace. [Refrain]

4 Thou the spring of all my comfort,

more than life to me,

whom have I on earth beside thee?

Whom in heaven but thee? [Refrain]

The hymn reminds me of two moments along Jesus’ journey. The first is Mark 10:46-11:10, when Jesus heals Bartimaeus.

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Despite others telling him to be silent, Bartimaeus reaches out in the darkness with his faith to call on Jesus. Bartimaeus did not need to see Jesus to have faith and to know and feel his presence and power. We do not need to see Jesus, we do not need signs or signals along our faith journeys, we just need to call out to him. Our gentle Savior hears our cries and comforts us.

The other moment is in Luke 19:1-10, with Zacchaeus the tax collector who climbs a tree to see Jesus. Zacchaeus’ work as a tax collector did not prevent Jesus from going to his house for “Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Two moments, one of blind faith of someone literally blind and the other of blind faith of someone who could see clearly. In both instances, Jesus shows his overwhelming love for us, his power, and his life as the greatest example we could follow.

Pass me not” and “Do not pass me by” are lyrics that do not mean that God will pass you by if you seek him out. They are from the perspective of the singer asking for help. We are to pray with humility and with the comfort that He will not pass us by because His work has already been done on the cross. No further work is needed, just our submission to him (in deep contrition).

In a time where many churches are turning away from hymns, I encourage you to seek them out for your own. Many are just as relevant today as they were 150 years ago. I have found that many worship songs are about what we can do for God, but oftentimes, I feel that I am singing a lie because I am not always going to be able to hold up my side of the deal. This song is so honest in that all we can do is pray for His help as we go through our lives–it gives God all the glory.

I hope you are comforted by this powerful song of hope, comfort, and trust in Jesus.


Here are some song examples below:

Melancholy Version


More Upbeat Version



Piano with Singing


There are also some great versions on Spotify.

**Some background on this hymn: It was written by Fanny Jay Crosby in 1868. She wrote over 8,000 hymns. Crosby became blind shortly after birth–her hymns are beautiful testimony to her faith in Christ.

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