Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a Friend

I have been really struggling lately to work on my prayer life. Sometimes when I'm faced with a painful circumstance I tend to clam up and try my very best to get through it alone. I don't want to do that. We have the amazing ability to give our burdens to Jesus and talk to God directly in prayer, even if we don't always choose to do it. He wants to be a part of our happy times and our sad times. When I've been neglecting Him for a while there comes a time when I feel Him calling me back. I'm learning to rely fully on God but I still need reminders. I guess I'm stubborn like that.

The other day I heard a familiar hymn at church. Do you love old hymns as much as I do? I also love to hear the stories behind why they were written. What a Friend We Have in Jesus was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven. He wrote the song specifically for his mother, "to comfort her in a time of special sorrow." Scriven had certainly known grief and loss in his life, leaving his homeland of Ireland to immigrate to Canada. Later he lost his fiancee just before they were supposed to be married. His hymn is so positive and sweet, you might never know it was born out of tragedy. It reminds us over and over again to take everything to the Lord in prayer.

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 will find a solace there.

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.


Hucklebuck said...

Thanks for the great reminder Stace. I also enjoyed hearing the story behind the song.

I Believe in Miracles said...

I love hymns. They definitely help inspire prayer for me. Thanks for sharing.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

I understand how difficult it is to pray sometimes... especially when the prayers we've prayed haven't been answered in the way we'd like. These hymns really help me heal after a m/c. I have a few hymn CD's that I play repeatedly to help me focus on Christ instead of my pain. Thanks for posting.

Alicia said...

What a beautiful and edifying hymn, what a story. And yes I too love hymns and the stories behind them. When you hear the stories about the circumstances behind what was written your heart just grows in worship to our Great God!

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Hear My Cry said...

I too cherish these old hymns. I have a different appreciation for them since our church no longer plays them. They definitely stir up old feelings and memories!

I too can be so stubborn and need reminding to run back to my Jesus.

Thanks a bunch for stopping by my place and commenting me. Sometimes those few words are so encouraging and they come at the most needed times. :)

Sarah said...

I came across your site today just wanted to tell you I am praying for you and what a wonderful song you posted. It has so much meaning. That songe really blesses me. I have it on CD and my son and I sing it alot. I pray that God answers your prayers and remember to keep the faith.

Andrea said...

I love hymns so much! Thanks for reminding me of this one :-)

Anonymous said...

Stace, I battle with the same thing, I seem to turn away from God during the hard times and only praise and talk with him during the good times.
I battle with it daily!

Jana said...

I, too, love that hymn! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
That's certainly my tune! I've just recently been reminded of Hebrews 4:15-16...we can go with confidence, even when it has been a long time. I just can't seem to wrap my brain around His love.