Higher Ground Hymn

Higher Ground Hymn a Source of Strength and Comfort

God gives us courage and strength, and paths impassable from our grasp, so we can move beyond the storm of life.  By his grace, and as we put our trust in him, we move on higher ground.

As believers, sometimes, with our promise of faith, trust and obedience, occasionally we walk out of the light. This happens when we feel abandoned, and we cry,  Why God? Where are you when I need you most? Haven’t I trusted you enough? 

Familiar woes and sighs? It’s almost as if God has forgotten us.  Let’s get our acts together.  He’ll make us strong and steadfast if we but hang on and persevere.

Faith in God requires us to believe things we can’t see. Despite the struggles, we are encouraged to press the upward way.  Why not, when we are precious to him and he loves us… and he blesses those who earnestly seek him.

The hymn:  Higher Ground

Words:  Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856-1922)
Music:  Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932)

1. I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
Lord plant my feet on Higher Ground.

Lord Lift me up and let me stand,
By faith on heaven’s tabled land;
A higher plane than I have found,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.

2. My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Tho some may dwell where these abound,
my pray'r, my aim, is higher ground.

I've posted a bit about "Higher Ground" hymn sometime 2010. I've re-visited it with inclusion of video and some reflections. I've been singing it almost everyday, as a source of motivation to press on higher ground especially during most challenging hours, and, a prayer as a new day-dawn opens; may it be yours too, especially when you most need strength and comfort.

Higher Ground Hymn History

The hymn "Higher Ground" was written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. and composed by Charles H. Gabriel. The Bible reference is Philippians 3:14, to press forward for God's call.

The hymn "Higher Ground" has a secure place in the American hymnology. The scripture reference is found in Philippians 3:14 of The Bible's New Testament: "I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus." (NIV) According to J. H. Hall, Biographies of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers, "Nothing can bring forth more shouts at a camp meeting of "Glory," "Hallelujah," than the singing of "Higher Ground."

Higher Ground Hymn Lyrics

Post Resources:

  • Great Hymns of the Faith. Compiled and edited by John W. Peterson. Tennessee: Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, 1968.

  • Holy Bible, New International Version, Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 2001.

  • 101 More Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Kregel Publications, Michigan, 1985.

Video Credit:

Higher Ground Hymn Lyrics. YouTube, uploaded by isbaptist. Accessed, 4 Nov 2012.


  1. I love this song so much especially the one sung by Claire Holley.The accompanying american country music is also soothing.I love the lines 'I love to scale the utmost heights' is so exhilarating as GOD really takes you to utmost heights when you just keep holding on to him no matter what.Time spent with THE LORD are priceless as they add meaning to our existence.Halleujah !

  2. Hi Mickey, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and visiting. Yes, there's nothing compared to having the Lord in our lives and feeling his presence, not only on times we most need him, but also in moments of joy and gratitude.
    I love singing "Higher Ground". Somehow, he always lifts us up on higher ground, this even when at times our faith falters.
    God bless.


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