Father, I know that all my life

Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come I do not fear to see;
But I ask Thee for a present mind intent on pleasing Thee.
I ask Thee for a thoughtful love, through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles, and to wipe the weeping eyes;
And a heart at leisure from itself, to soothe and sympathize.
I would not have the restless will that hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child, and guided where I go.
Wherever in the world I am, in whatso’er estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts to keep and cultivate;
And a work of lowly love to do for the Lord on whom I wait.
So I ask Thee for the daily strength, to none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life while keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.
And if some things I do not ask in my cup of blessing be,
I would have my spirit filled the more with grateful love to Thee,
More careful, not to serve Thee much, but to please Thee perfectly.
There are briers besetting every path that call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot, and an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee is happy anywhere.
In a service which Thy will appoints there are no bonds for me;
For my inmost heart is taught “the truth” that makes Thy children “free”
And a life of self-renouncing love is a life of liberty.

Very little is known about the author of this hymn, because of her remarkably retiring disposition. She was Anna Laetitia Waring, and was born in Neath, a town of South Wales, in 1820. In 1850 she published her "Hymns and Meditations," and in 1858 she published "Additional Hymns." It is believe that she was a Friend, and that her life was full of suffering and pain. Hymn #305 in the Chinese Hymnal is a translation of this hymn by Watchman Nee.

Lydia Damron

Macomb, MI, United States

Such a gift to write these words of promise and peace.

Bridgett Jones

Birmingham, Alabama, United States

I wouldn’t have the restless will that hurries to and fro, seeking for some great thing to do or secret thing to know..... MAY ABBA HAVE MERCY! 🙏🏽

Amy Torres

Livermore, CA, United States

Gorgeous song. I am so glad Allister Begg spoke of it. Suggested it to our pastor.

Refiloe Motsoeneng

Centurion, GP, South Africa

Content to fill a little space, if Though be glorified ♥️ To God, only be all the glory

Joan Hadley

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

The phrase "a heart at leisure from itself" reminded me of a book by philosopher Josef Pieper. He wrote about true leisure, that it can only be experienced in worship.

Glory Jung

Honolulu, United States

God of arrangement


Barcelona, Spain

"But a lowly heart that leans on Thee is happy anywhere"

Maame Boateng

Tema, Greater Accra, Ghana

I haven't come across this hymn for close to a decade and yet I found myself singing it in a dream this morning.

Such powerful words.


Mamaa Prah

Croydon, London, United Kingdom

I grew up hearing my late sweet saintly mother singing this hymn verse by verse. Every time I am reminded of this song I know God is drawing me closer to Him. Last night, as I slept, I dreamt singing this hymn, verse by verse and consciously I don't know the full lyrics, only the first verse by memory, but in my dream I was singing the whole song. Psalm 63:7 says" when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the night watches of the night".

When we sleep with the Lord on our hearts, though we sleep our spirits communicate with God. Such a sobering thought. what a beautiful wonderful Father He is. I don't know exactly why I dreamt singing this hymn but my response is ... ALL I ASK THEE FOR IS A PRESENT MIND, INTENT OF PLEASING THEE. Amen.. Staying In The Light!

Steve Miller

Detroit, Michigan, United States

If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have "a heart at leisure from itself," then I know nothing of Calvary love. - Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)


This quote sounds like me.