287. Have Thine Own Way, Lord

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.

Text Information
First Line: Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Title: Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Author: Adelaide A. Pollard (1901)
Meter: 99 99
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Commitment & Dedication; Illumination; King, God/Christ as (7 more...)
Tune Information
Composer: George C. Stebbins (1907)
Meter: 99 99
Key: E♭ Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Jer. 18:6
Isa. 64:8
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.

Liturgical Use:
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

Tune Information:

George C. Stebbins (PHH 63) 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.

Though the melody is certainly serviceable, ADELAIDE is perhaps best sung in parts. Give this music a shot of energy: do not sing it too slowly.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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