This past Sunday I was in the middle of singing one of the worship leader-led hymns with our congregation and found my soul strangely warmed by the presence of the Spirit we call Holy.
I noticed my hands beginning to open up with a gentle gratitude to God. I closed my eyes briefly in hopes of capturing the fullness of the text I was singing, for perhaps the umpteenth time in my Christian life. I knew the hymn, each line holding deep significance for me. Right then and there I realized there was more for me in this hymn than I was able to capture at that moment with my worshipping community. The liturgy moved on, adding on to the hymn for the rest of the service.
I decided to return to the hymn later in the day and simply receive the text once more, praying the words one stanza at a time. I did just that. My soul was refreshed and renewed.
Perhaps something similar has happened to you recently. You’re singing your heart out with your fellow parishoners. You are struck by the words of praise, thankfulness, reflection or petition in one of the songs, hymns, or worship songs. There isn’t much time at that moment to capture the words fully. The worship continues, but the scent of his presence remains.
How about using that hymn later in the day or week to help you receive from the Lord and offer your heart back in worship, this time in your personal prayer closet? A spiritual practice you’re willing to try? If so, here’s the hymn that caught my heart’s attention and the words I returned to pray…may it serve as an encouragement to your soul as well.
Take My Life was written in 1874 by Frances Havergal, a poet, scholar, and deeply passionate lover of Jesus. Simply and sweetly she sang the love of God, and her writing invites us to do likewise. Let the words envelop you as you receive them as a gift of grace, a love letter from Jesus to you, a hymn-prayer from you to him.
Take My Life by Frances Havergal
1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.
2 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,
swift and beautiful for thee.
3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.
4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.
5 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,
it shall be thy royal throne.
6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.