ChurchesBishopstonCity CentreWestbury
Emmanuel Bristol is a family of churches working together to make more disciples, who will plant more churches, to show more people that Jesus is Lord.

Link of the Week – Story Behind ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’

Read (and listen!) afresh to the story behind the hymn ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ and let’s be praising God that we can take everything in prayer to Him, our most faithful friend.

Joseph Scriven was a man acquainted with grief.  Born in County Down, Northern Ireland, he aspired as a young man to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Royal Marine, but his poor health made that impossible.  Then he fell in love and was engaged to be married, but his fiancée drowned before their wedding could take place.

To put as much distance as possible between himself and that tragedy, Scriven then moved to Canada.  While living there, he became engaged again, but his fiancee became ill and died before they could be married.

In his grief, Scriven determined to devote himself to a life of service to the disabled and financially destitute and took a vow of poverty selling everything he owned.

Scriven received word that his mother was ill.  Having sold all his possessions, he couldn’t afford to return to Ireland, so he sent his mother a poem in the hope that it would comfort her.  The poem began, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!  What a privilege to carry everything to God 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!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, 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.

Blessed Saviour, 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.