Take my Life and Let it Be!
That’s not what I’d call a good title for a hymn. However, the very next line puts everything into context:
“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.”
Ahh… Now it makes sense. In fact the entire song is about surrender, commitment & offering.
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
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.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
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.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
You will note that every line starts with the same phrase – a very contemporary approach!
We plan on singing this hymn on Sept 14th in our church. Our Pastor will precede it with this introduction:
The hymn, “Take My Life and Let it Be” was written by an unusual woman named Frances Havergal (1836-1879). The daughter of a minister, she mastered Greek and Hebrew to read the scriptures in their original languages. Having grown up in England, she traveled in Europe and enjoyed skiing in the Swiss Alps –– an unusual recreation in the nineteenth century. She was also an accomplished singer who sometimes sang with the Philharmonic.
Because her voice was lovely, Frances was in demand as a concert soloist. With all her education, however, Frances Havergal maintained a simple faith and confidence in the Lord. She never wrote a line of poetry without praying over it.
Frances had begun reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four (eventually memorizing The Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament). At seven she wrote her first poetry.
At age 36, she spent five days with a small group of people, some of whom were not Christians, and others of whom were lukewarm. She spent those five days witnessing to them and praying for them, and was delighted to see her prayers answered. By the end of that week, all ten people had devoted themselves to Christ; thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit working through Frances. That night, too excited to sleep, Havergal sat up writing the hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be.”
Her devotion to Christ took many shapes. For one, she quit singing in secular venues and devoted herself to Christian music. For another, she donated her collection of jewelry to a missionary society to raise money for mission endeavors (hence the lyric “take my silver and my gold; not a mite will I withhold”). But those were merely minor notes in the symphony of devotion that was Frances Havergal’s life.
During the Offering, our choir/praise team will sing Chris Tomlin’s version of the same song. You can hear it here:
It’s basically the same song but Tomlin has added a chorus with the following lyrics:
Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for thee.
A simple, but nice sentiment to add to an already wonderful hymn.