“Have Thine Own Way, Lord”
After having her hopes of doing missionary work crushed, hymn author Adelaide Pollard became inspired to write a hymn about God working in her life. Written in just a single night, “Have Thine own way, Lord” quickly got published in multiple hymnals. The hymn gives full control over to God, begging him to transform our lives and to work his will in everyone. This classic hymn has reminded generations of believers to submit to God’s will at all times and in all circumstances.
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.