Take My Life and Let it Be, the Song and the Story

Composer Francis Ridley Havergal Writes Take My Life and Let it Be



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During her relatively short life of 46 years, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and memorized the Psalms, the book of Isaiah, and most of the New Testament. She published four books, and composed more than 80 hymns, including I Gave My Life for Thee and God Will Take Care of You.

In 1873, Francis had a dramatic personal spiritual experience in which she realized the importance of complete surrender to God. Soon thereafter, she was visiting a home in which 10 people lived. Several of the 10 were unconverted; the others were uncommitted Christians. Frances, who was staying in the home for an extended visit, prayed "Lord, give me all this house." Before her stay had ended, all 10 members of the household had committed their lives completely to Jesus. On the last night of her visit Francis was too excited to sleep - It was then and there she wrote the lyrics to the beautiful Take My Life and Let it Be.

This hymn has stirred many hearts towards a deeper commitment to Christ. Even as she was writing the words, Francis herself was motivated to submit more to her Lord. As she wrote the words Take my voice and let me sing..., she made a decision to give up her career as a concert soloist, and sing only for Him. As she wrote the words Take my silver and my gold..., she made a choice to donate her considerable jewelry collection for the sake of missions.

No less than seven melodies have been written to accompany Take My Life and Let it Be. The one most commonly seen in contemporary hymnbooks, was written in 1827, by Henri A. Cesar Malan (1787-1864), who was one of the men responsible for the hymn movemment within the French Reformed Church.

Take My Life and Let it Be

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.

I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

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Written by: Connie Ruth Christiansen

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