Take My Life, Lord

Every day I pray the Ignatian prayer known as the Suscipe, “Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will — all that I have and call my own. You have given it all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace. That is enough for me.”

In the process of sharing some thoughts on his prayer with Thomas Merton, my friend Virgil sent me the words of an old Lutheran hymn his reflections brought to mind, Take my Life, O Lord, Renew, by Frances R. Havergal. The lyrics express something of the same longing to turn everything over to God, and the same desire to let God live through us, that I’m so conscious of as I pray the Suscipe each day. It is the long and desire that is awakened in all of us when we have a deep experience of God and that grows in us as we deepen our relationship with God. So I share the lyrics for your reflection.

Take my life, O Lord, renew,
Consecrate my heart to you;
Take my moments and my days;
Let them sing your ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them do
Works that show my love for you;
Take my feet and lead their way,
Never let them go astray.
Take my voice and let me sing
Praises to my Savior King,
Take my lips and deep them true,
Filled with messages from you.

Take my silver and my gold,
All is yours a thousand fold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as you shall choose.

Make my will your holy shrine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is your own;
It shall be your royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At your feet its treasure store;
Take my self, Lord, let me be
Yours alone eternally.