Here is how author Frances Havergal describes the events that inspired the writing of this hymn:
“I went for a little visit of five days. 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 everyone had got a blessing. The last night of my visit, after I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, etc. Then and there both of them trusted and rejoiced. It was nearly midnight. 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’” (Lutheran Hymnal Handbook, 486).
This hymn is a beautiful prayer that God would both draw us closer to Himself, and use us to bring others to Him. God calls us to a life of discipleship, and our only response should be, “Here am I. Send me.”