What a Friend

Lately, through church and friends, I had a subtle reminder of the importance and power of prayer. I’ll be brief tonight, but I thought I would send out a little encouragement to all our friends and family who have been going through struggles, trials, and discouragement.

What God has been reminding me about prayer:

  • God created us in a way that we could communicate with Him! He gave us a will, mind, and emotions unlike plants or animals.
  • After man sinned, God provided a way (through His Son) that man could be reconciled with God and be in fellowship with Him again. He desires a relationship with us and made it possible!
  • God wants us to rely on Him with everything, no matter how big or small our cares are, as 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.” He loves us so much that we can pray to Him about anything, from praying that chickens will return to their coop at night, to finding a job, to dealing with depression or illness.
  • The God of the universe wants us to talk with Him, yet so often I find myself too prideful or independent to spend five minutes a day talking to Him, or I simply forget and have to go through the difficulties of life without relying on my Father.

The pastor mentioned a hymn on Sunday, that I thought really tied in with what we had been learning about prayer.

Joseph Scriven (1819-1886) learned early in life to give his griefs to the Lord. On the eve of his wedding day, his bride was found drowned. This crushed him. He left his homeland of Ireland and moved to Port Hope, Canada. He found Jesus to be his best friend and decided to give his life to be a friend and a help to others. He fell in love again but tragedy came the second time when his bride to be contracted tuberculosis and died before their wedding could take place.

Upon learning of his mother’s serious illness and was unable to be with her in faraway Dublin, he wrote a letter of comfort enclosing the words of this text. Some time later when he himself was ill, a friend who came to see him chanced to see the poem scribbled on scratch paper near his bed. The friend read it with interest and asked if he had written the words. With typical modesty, Scriven replied, “The Lord and I did it between us.”

We, like Scriven’s mother, are reminded again that we have a friend who wants to know our cares, griefs, burdens, temptations, trials, sins, pain, and sorrows. Jesus is that friend. Have you spoken to Him today? (Schaefer-Family and Suite 101).

Here are the lyrics to this beautiful hymn:

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.


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