"Take My Life and Let It Be" by Frances Ridley Havergalby Dr. Zelda Robinson on March 3, 2022
The hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be” was written by and an English religious poet and hymn writer named Frances Ridley Havergal. Frances was raised Anglican. Her father and brother were clergymen. Her father was also a hymn writer and composer and her brother, was not only a priest in the church of England, he was also an organist. Frances lived a somewhat quiet life, traveling mostly to Switzerland.
Her spiritual journey began when she was only four, where she memorized passages of scripture and by age seven, she was writing verses. Havergal was a Christian all her life, but at age 36 she experienced what she described as a conversion experience. After reading a book entitled, “All for Jesus,” aware of the incompleteness of her own devotion, she rededicated her life to Christ.
In 1874 after spending some time with a small group, some were Christian and some were not, she said she prayed that the Lord would give her all who were in that house. Frances said the Lord did just that. She had spent five days witnessing to the group and praying for them. By the end of that week, all ten people had devoted themselves to Christ. Excited about what the Lord had done, she was too excited to sleep, so wrote the hymn, "Take My Life and Let It Be."
James Howell shares how his attention was drawn to the line, “Take my moments.” What is a moment? Howell says, “it is almost nothing.” He describes it as a, “little freeze frame in time, passing as quickly as its noticed or ignored.” So much can or cannot happen in a moment.
The hymnist’s words, asking God to “take…” expresses a heart that desires to a total consecration to Christ. Each stanza begins with the imperative verb, ‘take.’ The lyrics say, “Take my life, take my moments, take my hands, take my feet, take my voice, take my lips, take my silver and my gold, take my intellect, my will, my heart, my love, myself. This is a constant or continuous prayer petition, a surrender of all to Jesus.
Take my life and let it be; Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless 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 pow’r 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 myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Giving things up for lent is a training exercise that helps prepare us to abandon whatever we cling to. How much are you willing to give up for the Lord? What are you asking God to, “take” from you during this season? Surrender your all to Him, so that you can make room to receive more and more of Him.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2