138 Years Ago Today Frances Havergal Wrote “Take My Life”

February 4, 1874 – Frances Havergal was unable to sleep on the final evening of a five day visit to a home with ten other people.  Her temporary insomnia was due to the joy in what God had been doing in that home during her visit.  She described the 10 occupants as fitting into one of two categories of people.

First, some were unconverted.  It is interesting to note that she commented that these unconverted folks had long been the subject of intercessory prayers.  The other group of people were Christians who were living without any joy.

At the onset of her visit, Havergal indicated that God gave her a prayer, Lord, give me all in this house.  God answered that prayer.  In the space of those five days, the house became a house of rejoicing.

Unable to sleep this woman who saturated her life with the Bible (she had committed to memory the Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament), penned the words to the hymn that congregations have been singing for over a century.

Take my life and let it be

Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days,

Let them flow in endless praise.

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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.

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Take my voice and let me sing,

Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be

Filled with messages from Thee.

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Take my silver and my gold,

Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect and use

Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

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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.

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Take my love, my Lord, I pour

At Thy feet its treasure store.

Take myself and I will be

Ever, only, all for Thee.

It is refreshing that this woman took to heart the words she wrote.  Four years later she applied these words in a tangible way.

The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.

With this hymn writer, we should say, Take my life.

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