What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Waking up in my grandparents’ snug house in southwest VA under six homemade quilts, hearing my dear grandmother singing this in her mountain twang, perhaps slightly off-key, but with all her heart. At the time I did not understand the trials in her life that surely sent her often to seek the arms of this precious Friend. What I  did know was that the place and the people and the song spoke solace to this little girl’s heart. And eventually, her Friend made Himself my Friend.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

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!

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 your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
You wilt find a solace there.

~ Joseph Medlicott Scriven, 1906 Canada

Read about this hymn at Hymnary.

Morning Prayer by Ebenezer Newman Downard, 1861

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