Francis Ridley Havergal was the daughter of a church rector and was raised in Worcester, England. She attended schools in Englandand Germany, was proficient in both Hebrew and Greek, and was a talented singer and pianist. She spent the majority of her life’s work in writing poetry that would be spiritually beneficial to believers. Havergal never married. She desired to fully surrender her life to the Lord and His work. She had much joy in ministering to others. All her life she suffered poor health and went home to be with the Lord at age 42. [1]

Take My Life and Let It Be is Havergal’s best-known hymn. She wrote these verses in 1874 when she was visiting friends who were hosting ten other people at the time. Francesdesired that all in the house would come to know the Lord and wrote this song as her own personal consecration to God, committing herself and all of her possessions to the Lord for His purposes.[2]

STANZA 1:

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Reflective thoughts: This is a prayer communicating the desire to give our very lives to God and praise Him daily for who He is. “That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Ps.30:12)“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praiseshall continually be in my mouth” (Ps.34:1)“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord” (Ps.40:3).

STANZA 2:

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Reflective thoughts: Everything we do is to be done in love, for if we “…do not have love, [we] have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,” (1 Cor.13:1). Everywhere we go we are to display the beauty of Christ, as salt and light of the earth (Matt.5:13-16).

STANZA 3:

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Reflective thoughts: This prayer is for our very words to be in praise and adoration of the Lord. “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col.4:6). It is also a prayer of being subject to Christ and to be used by Him to proclaim the Gospel to our loved ones. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet.2:9).

STANZA 4:

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Reflective thoughts: This stanza expresses the desire to offer all of our possessions to be used for His glory and to further His kingdom. This includes our own intellect. We are asking God to use us as He wills. “So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church” (1 Cor.14:12).

STANZA 5:

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Reflective thoughts: As believers in Christ, we are not the captains of our souls. We are to submit to the Lord’s will and give up our earthly desires. Christ is to rule our desires and reign in our hearts. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor.6:19-20).

STANZA 6:

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Reflective thoughts: This is a prayer of complete dedication of life to the Lord in all things. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom.12:1).

 


[1] www.challies.com, “Hymn Stories: Take My Life and Let It Be”

[2] Our Hymn Writers and Their Hymns, Faith Cook, p.319