Have Thine Own Way Lord


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.

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.

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!

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!

“But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord-just have your way with our lives …
This simple expression, prayed by an elderly woman at a prayer meeting one night, was the source of inspiration that prompted the writing of this popular consecration hymn, in 1902. From that time to the present, it has been an influential hymn in aiding individuals to examine and submit their lives to the Lordship of Christ.The author of this hymn text, Adelaide A. Pollard, was herself experiencing a “distress of soul” during this time. It appears that it was a period in her life when she had been unsuccessful in raising funds to make a desired trip to Africa for missionary service. In this state of discouragement, she attended a little prayer meeting one night and was greatly impressed with the prayer of an elderly woman, who omitted the usual requests for blessings and things, and simply petitioned God for an understanding of His will in life. Upon returning home that evening, Miss Pollard meditated further on the story of the potter, found in Jeremiah 18:3, 4:”Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”Before retiring that evening, Adelaide Pollard completed the writing of all four stanzas of this hymn as it is sung today.

It communicates so well the desire of the Christian believer to truly surrender to the Lord, to His will and to His way.  I hope today that you can sing, and pray, these words written over 100 years ago.
Couple of comments on the lyrics:
  • Yielded and still – I like the combination of the words in this particular verse.  I feel like sometimes I tend to have one of these qualities but not both.  Maybe I am yielding my desires and my will, but I am so impatient that I can’t sit still and wait.  I have to “help” the Lord along and get things moving.  I know what He wants me to do, but I can’t wait on Him to get started.  Or on the opposite spectrum.  I am still and waiting because my will is not yielded to Him.  I have decided that I ain’t moving until the Lord changes His mind and His plan for my life.  How awesome it would be to be able to do what the author suggests.  To yield and to be still.  To submit and to wait.  To surrender and to quiet one’s spirit.  What a great combination!
  • Hold o’er my being absolute sway – I also like this combination of words – absolute and sway.  Definition #17 for the word “sway” at dictionary.com is “dominating power or influence.”  Several definitions of “absolute” really were powerful too.  “free from imperfection,” “complete,” “positive,” “free from restriction.”  Does the Lord want complete power and influence over our lives?  Yes.  Does the Lord desire power over our lives that is free from restriction?   Yes.  What a prayer this truly is!  Lord, have your own way and have absolute sway!
While researching the background of this hymn, I came across an interesting prayer that I thought went so well with the theme of this great song that I wanted to share with you.  I could not find any specific author attribution of this prayer, but it was included in the “Amazing Grace” hymn devotion by Kenneth Osbeck that I use for research for “Hymns Alive .”  This prayer is powerful, but challenging.  True, but tough.  Convicting, but I hope inspiring.  It is one that would be worth memorizing.
I am willing, Lord, to receive what Thou givest,
to lack what Thou withholdest,
to relinquish what Thou takest,
to surrender what Thou claimest,
to suffer what Thou ordainest,
to do what Thou commandest,
to wait until Thou sayest “Go.”
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