Recently I was having a conversation with someone and was asked, “Matthew, what is your favorite hymn?” Although I have many hymns that I love there are a few that would fall into that category of “favorite.” I answered: Hymn 707 in The Hymnal 1982. For me the words to this hymn are how I hope to lead my life, responsive to the call of God, used as an instrument of God’s will, filled with a sure-fire knowledge of God’s love and presence. This hymn of consecration appears in “The Christian Life” section of our hymnal.
The lyrics come from Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879). She was inspired to write the lyrics while on a small five-day trip, staying in a house with nine other occupants. As she told the story:
There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer, “Lord, give me all in this house!” And He just did!Before I left the house every one had got a blessing. The last night of my visit I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration, and these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another, till they finished with, “Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!
Here are her words as they appear as Hymn 707:
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 my self, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.
What is your favorite hymn? What is the ONE hymn that moves your spirit, that stirs your heart, that makes you an instrument of praise to God our creator, sustainer and redeemer? Today, sing out your song, glorify God…as Frances puts it as, “rejoicing Christians.”