Thy Life was giv’n for me

Thy Life was giv’n for me,
Thy blood, O Lord, was shed,
That I might ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead;
Thy Life was giv’n for me, for me;
What have I giv’n for Thee?
Long years were spent for me
In weariness and woe,
That through eternity
Thy glory I might know;
Long years were spent for me, for me;
Have I spent one for Thee?
Thy Father’s home of light,
Thy rainbow-circled throne,
Were left for earthly night,
For wanderings sad and lone;
Yea, all was left for me, for me;
Have I left aught for Thee?
Thou, Lord, hast borne for me
More than my tongue can tell
Of bitterest agony,
To rescue me from hell;
Thou suff’redst all for me, for me;
What have I borne for Thee?
And Thou hast brought to me
Down from Thy home above
Salvation full and free,
Thy pardon and Thy love;
Great gifts, great gifts Thou broughtest me;
What have I brought to Thee?
Oh, let my life be given,
My years for Thee be spent;
World-fetters all be riven,
And joy with suff’ring blent;
Thou gav’st Thyself for me, for me,
I give myself to Thee.
Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

This was written in her youth by Frances Ridley Havergal and was inspired by the words over the head of Christ in the great picture, “Ecce Homo (behold the man), ” in the art gallery of Düsseldorf, Germany where she was at school. The site—as was the case with young Count Zinzendorf-– seems to have had much to do with the gifted girl’s early spiritual experience, and exerted its influence on her whole life. The words read “I did this for thee; what doest thou for Me? “ And the effect of the picture and its question soon appeared in the hymn that flowed from Miss Havergal’s heart and pen.

Miss Frances Ridley Havergal sometimes called “the Theodosia of the 19th century, ” was born at Astley Worcestershire, England, December 14, 1836. Her father, Reverend William Henry Havergal, a clergyman of the Church of England, was himself a poet and a skilled musician, and much of his daughter’s ability was a natural gift as well as by education. Born a poet, she became a fine instrumentalist, a composer and an accomplished linguist. Her health was frail, but her life was a devoted and a consecrated one. Her hymn would last for many generations after her passing.

“Writing is praying with me, ” she said. She went to be with her beloved Lord Jesus in 1879 when she was still a young woman in her forties.

The music that has made this hymn familiar in America was composed by Phillip P. Bliss, a pupil of Dr. George F. Root.

He was born in Rome, PA. Jan. , 9, 1838, and died suddenly at age 38, a victim of the railroad disaster at Ashtabula, OH. His wife, Lucy Young Bliss died with him there, in the flames that enveloped the wreck of the train. Mr. Bliss’s’ name had become popular through numerous Christian melodies, and were the American beginning of the series of Gospel Hymns. Many of these are still favorite prayer-meeting tunes throughout the country and are heard in song-service at Sunday-school and city mission meetings.

Becky Lindberg

Kingman, Arizona, United States

I believe this is the hymn Frances wrote after gazing for hours on the painting by Sternberg in Dusseldorf, Germany, "Ecce Homo." It portrays Christ, wearing a crown of thorns, standing before Pilate. Under the painting are these words: "This have I done for thee, what hast thou done for Me?"

Henrich Brockhaus

Bellingham, WA, United States

Looking back at a long life and comparing what the Lord has given to me and what I have given to Him, I can only say with tears in my eyes that He is such a wonderful Lord: caring, forgiving and patient. He does want us to daily give ourselves to Him, so He can daily bless us and use us. I need Him everyday. I give myself to Thee. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receiver power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Frances Havergal was born at the Rectory, Astley, Worcester, England. Her father was Rector there. Five years later they moved to the beautiful city of Worcester, where her father was Dean of the Cathedral. She tells us that when she was about 5 she told the minister that she was troubled about her sins, but he did not know how to help her. He told her that her feelings were caused by her having moved away from Astley, with all the beautiful surroundings there for a little girl to enjoy. She did not mention her feelings to anyone again for several years. At the age of 13 or 14 she went to a boarding school conducted by a most Godly lady, Mrs. Teed. Several girls in the school were converted and testified to the joy they found in the Lord. Frances confided in Mrs. Teed about her feelings, and that she so wanted the Lord Jesus in her life, too. Mrs. Teed referred her to a Miss Cooke, who wisely asked, ""Why can you not trust yourself to your Savior at once?" Miss Havergal said: "Then a flash of hope came across me, which made me feel literally breathless. I remember how my heart beat. 'I could surely,' was my response. I ran upstairs. I flung myself on my knees. I was very happy at last. I committed my soul to my Savior. I do not mean to say without any trembling or fear - but I did - and earth and heaven seemed bright from that moment - I did trust the Lord Jesus."

Miss Havergal wrote: "Trusting Thee! For Thee! That is the end of the whole matter of consecration. 'The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.' I realized it was 'for me;' it is then practical to say, 'for Thee.' 'For Thee.' this makes the difference between slave labor and free work. For Thee, my Redeemer; for Thee, Who hast spoken to my heart; for me!"

She passed away at Swansea, Wales, in her 43rd year. She exclaimed, "It is all perfect peace. I am only waiting for Jesus to take me in."

The great missionary to China, Dr. J. Hudson Taylor, said that his favorite hymn, after he was able to trust the Lord for his complete salvation, was ""I am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus" by Frances Havergal. Her consecration hymn, "Take My Life and Let it Be" is considered one of the greatest hymns ever written. - 'Hymn Stories' by Wilbur Konkel


Lagos, Nigeria

This hymn summarises God's defiant love for man.

Never sang this hymn without my spirit confirming God is too good to be questioned. He knew from the beginning we were unworthy....yet made us righteous and gave us His word to ensure we had hope and later sent His word to become flesh just to guarantee we spend eternity in His presence.

Only the true God who made man could give all...Hossanah in the highest

Frank Pytel

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Whenever I sing this hymn before the Lord, I realize He is so much, and I am so little. I cannot match Him, or compare! One day as I was singing this hymn verse two became real to me. He had given His years as man, that I can share in His eternity and glory. I decided to leave my job, and give Him one year to be in His Word and share His gospel. As the years go on I can increase in possessions, or in a bank account, but my time is not increasing. My time is being spent year by year, day by day, and hour by hour! How many years are left for me? I don't know. "My years for Thee be spent."


London, United Kingdom

Yes the Lord has left all His glory in heaven for us to have life. Oh Lord, Thou hast suffered all the shame and pain. The question remains what have I done for You. Your commission we know Lord but need the strength to do. Praise You Lord You are our strength and ability. Fill us today Lord with Thyself and take the gospel to the ends of the world. Christ is the gospel and the gospel is Christ. Oh brothers and sisters we need to release Christ, minister Christ and preach Christ and preach Christ from our spirit to sinners.