What a friend we have in Jesus

My favourite Hymn ......

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 Saviour, 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.

“Pray without ceasing” by Joseph Medlicott Scriven ( better known as “What a friend we have in Jesus”), is many people's favourite hymn.

Joseph Scriven was born and brought up in Ireland. As a young man he joined the Plymouth Brethren, then in 1845, aged 26, he moved to Canada to run a private school. He preached on the streets and in the taverns where workmen lunched. He wrote poems and hymns that he distributed locally. He was known as “the good man” for all of his charitable works among the poor.

Most of his hymns and verses were arrangements of biblical texts. A book containing 115 of them was published in 1869 but strangely he did not include this hymn. It was described in 1919 as “beyond question the best-known piece of Canadian Literature” and is the only one of his many works to have survived into modern worship.

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