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, Savior today!
Wash me just now, Lord, wash me just 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!
United Methodist Hymnal, 1989
|First Line:||Have Thine own way, Lord!|
|Title:||Have Thine Own Way, Lord|
|Author:||Adelaide A. Pollard (1906)|
|Liturgical Use:||Songs of Response|
st. 1 = Jer. 18:6
st. 2 = Ps. 139:23-24
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).
Originally called Sarah, Pollard 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.
For believers to dedicate themselves individually and collectively to follow the will of the Lord; stanza 2 suggests use in the service of confession and forgiveness, but as a whole the song fits best as a post-sermon hymn.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987
Adelaide Pollard wrote the text of this hymn after attending a prayer service in 1902. She had dreamed of being in the mission field in Africa, but was unable to go due to financial instability. When she heard an elderly woman at the prayer meeting say, “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us Lord, just have your own way with our lives,” Pollard was inspired. She wrote all four stanzas that night before bed. The line which says, “Thou art the Potter, I am the clay,” was inspired by the story of the potter in Jeremiah 18:3. The text surrenders all control to the Lord, invoking his spirit to cleanse, mold, and transform.
Five years after the text had been written, George Stebbins specifically wrote a tune for Pollard’s hymn, entitled ADELAIDE. He wrote the tune in 1907 the hymn was first published the same year in “Northfield Hymnal with Alexander’s Supplement.” The melody is serviceable, but is probably best sung in parts.
This hymn is good for a service of renewal, but should not be limited to any specific part of the Church year. As a whole, this is best used as a post-sermon hymn. This hymn should be sung flowingly in parts.
Luke Getz Hymnary.org