737

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

Full Text

1 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after thy will,
while I am waiting, yielded and still.

2 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today.
Open mine eyes, my sin show me now,
as in thy presence humbly I bow.

3 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray.
Power, all power, surely is thine.
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

4 Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Hold o'er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Inspired by the potter imagery in Jeremiah 18:6 and Isaiah 64:8, Adelaide A. Pollard wrote this sung prayer for consecration to God’s will in our lives.

 

Periodically distressed after being unable to raise money to go to Africa as a missionary in the late 1890s, Adelaide A. Pollard (b. Bloomfield, IA, 1862; d. New York, NY, 1934) attended a prayer meeting in 1902 and was inspired after hearing an older woman pray, "It really doesn't matter what you do with us, Lord–just have your way with our lives." Pollard went home and meditated on the potter's story in Jeremiah 18 (the same image is also in Isa. 64:8) and wrote the conse­cration hymn "Have Thine Own Way, Lord." Repeating the words "Have thine own way," each stanza emphasizes the believer's harmony with God's will. This is a deeply personal prayer that culminates in a strong plea that others may see Christ in the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit (st. 4).

 

Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Canons of Dort V, 13 explain that our assurance of eternal security and perseverance cannot “produce immorality or lack of concern for godliness in those put back on their feet after a fall, but it produces a much greater concern to observe carefully the way which the Lord prepared in advance” and it is “an incentive to a serious and continuous practice of thanksgiving and good works...” (Canons of Dort V, 12) Therefore, this sub-section contains songs which express both the desire and the commitment of the believer to walk in obedience for holy living. Woven throughout these songs are expressions of fervent desire for holy living, a dedication to follow God’s will, a surrender of one’s will, and prayers for the Holy Spirit to continue his sanctifying work.

737

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

Confession

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
try me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
—Psalm 139:23-24, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

As we draw to the close of this year
and claim the year ahead, our Father,
we need to confess to you those pieces of the past
that persist in pulling us backward.
Through admitting our failures and sharing our sin,
we would like to put away those things
that nibble and nag, de-energize and depress.
With boldness, then, and a certain measure of embarrassment,
we admit to squandering time and talent,
good intentions and better ideas,
opportunities for growth and occasions for grace.
We admit that we have most often taken care of ourselves
while others have stood in line.
We have defined our interests carefully and our goals precisely,
using energy and expertise gainfully
to the detriment of family, friends, community, and church.
We agonize with memories that sit heavily
and images that cause us to blush
and ask that you would grant us your forgiveness
as we confess our individual regrets and remorse in silence. . . .
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
[Reformed Worship 17:42]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for God’s Sovereign Way with Us
Holy God, we belong to you but we keep trying to belong to ourselves.  Reach out to our confused minds and make them your own.  Reach out to our divided hearts and make them your own.  Reach out to all within us that is willful or wayward.  Touch, restore, and heal till we are fully your own.  Have thine own way, Lord.  Have thine own way, through Jesus Christ in whom we pray.  Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

A prayer especially mindful of children
Lord,
you have given us so many gifts in the past year.
We thank you for watching over us and guiding us.
Thank you for your faithfulness
and for promising never to leave us.
Now we offer to you what you have given us;
use us and our gifts to help others know about you
for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
737

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

Tune Information

Name
ADELAIDE
Key
E♭ Major
Meter
9.9.9.9

Recordings

737

Have Thine Own Way, Lord!

Hymn Story/Background

Periodically distressed after being unable to raise money to go to Africa as a missionary in the late 1890s, Adelaide A. Pollard attended a prayer meeting in 1902 and was inspired after hearing an older woman pray, "It really doesn't matter what you do with us, Lord—just have your way with our lives." Pollard went home and meditated on the potter's story in Jeremiah 18 (the same image is also in Isaiah 64:8) and wrote the consecration hymn "Have Thine Own Way, Lord." Repeating the words "Have thine own way," each stanza emphasizes the believer's harmony with God's will. This is a deeply personal prayer that culminates in a strong plea that others may see Christ in the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit (st. 4).
 
George C. Stebbins composed ADELAIDE for these words of Pollard and named the tune in her honor. Loved by many Christians, both text and tune were first published in 1907 in Stebbins's collection Northfield Hymnal with Alexander's Supplement; they were also published in several of Ira D. Sankey's hymnals that same year. The hymn was made popular by Ira Sankey in the Dwight Moody crusades.
 
The tune ADELAIDE is perhaps best sung in parts. 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Originally called Sarah, Adelaide A. Pollard (b. Bloomfield, IA, 1862; d. New York, NY, 1934) chose the name Adelaide for herself. She studied speech at the Boston School of Oratory and taught in several girls' schools in Chicago, Illinois. Influenced by the evangelist R. A. Torrey, she enrolled as a student at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and later taught at the Missionary Training School of the Christian Missionary Alliance in Nyack-on-the Hudson, New York. A missionary in Africa prior to World War I, she devoted the last years of her life to Christian mysticism.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

George Coles Stebbins (b. East Carlton, NY, 1846; d. Catskill, NY, 1945) grew up on a farm and attended a small country school. At the age of thirteen he enrolled in a singing school and became so enthralled with music that he decided to make it his career. In 1869 he moved to Chicago, where he worked at the Lyon and Healy Music Company and became music director at the First Baptist Church. There he also became acquainted with famous gospel musicians Root, Bliss, and Sankey. In 1874 he moved to Boston and became music director of the Clarendon Baptist Church and later of Tremont Temple Baptist Church.
— Bert Polman
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