Nothing belongs to us, not even our life. Everything we have belongs to God. It is just right then that we let Him use our life for His own glory. This is exactly the inspiration behind the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be.” Frances Ridley Havergal, who was referred to as the consecration poet, penned it in 1874. The lyrics to the hymn are as inspiring as the story behind its composition. Hence, the well-known hymn is still being sung up to the present.
The Inspiring Story Behind the Hymn’s Composition
Havergal perfectly epitomizes a beautiful sacred life. Her greatest calling is helping others to redirect their paths to the savior, Jesus Christ. She had a five-day home visitation in 1874 where she met persons residing in a house. Some of them remained unconverted and continued praying for it. Others who have been converted do not exemplify a satisfied Christian life. In prayer, she asked, “Lord, give me all in this house.” And the Lord answered her instantly.
“Before I left the house, everyone had got a blessing,” Havergal shares. She added, “The last night of my visit I was too happy to sleep and passed most of the night in renewal of my consecration, and these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another ’til they finished with ‘ever only, ALL FOR THEE!’”
Frances Ridley Havergal hailed from England. She was born on December 14, 1836, into an Anglican family. She inherited her talents in writing religious poetry and hymn composition from her father who was also a clergyman. Havergal has been considered one of the most dedicated Christian women of the nineteenth century. That’s mainly due to her passion of leading others to sacred living. At the tender age of four, she began memorizing the Bible and wrote her first poem at age seven. From these poems, sprung several of her hymn compositions.
Apart from writing poetry and hymns, Havergal also possessed a golden voice. Because of this, she became a bankable performer in concerts. Moreover, she was an exceptional pianist and knew some modern languages in addition to Hebrew and Greek. Despite her remarkable attainments, Havergal remained humble. She had kept her faith and confidence in the Lord simple. Also, each time she wrote something, she always lifted it to prayer.
Let’s listen below to a joyful singing of the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be.”
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Consecration Poet, Frances Ridley Havergal, Sacred Life, Take My Life and Let It Be