‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ is such a simple statement with incredibly powerful meaning. Jesus is a friend to every one of us, who gave the ultimate gift of His life and will still do anything for us today.
These amazing words are the basis of a beautiful song, ‘Take It to the Lord in Prayer’, which touches my heart in a way I cannot describe every time I hear it, especially when it is sung by The Aeolians. They sing it beautifully and with such amazing conviction that touches you deeply and is like medicine to the soul.
The words are not only powerful, but they are also full of truth, which stirs up raw emotion and brings tears to my eyes no matter how many times I listen to it. The song begins with that simple statement that leads straight into the rest of the lyrics, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear / What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer”.
It is so amazing that we have someone who will take all of our issues and problems on board, so that we don’t have to deal with things on our own. I love that I can talk to God about anything and if I pray to Him in faith, He will sort out my problems and cause everything to fall into place.
Later in the song it says, “When we’re weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care / We should never be discouraged when we / Take it to the Lord in prayer”. I know there are many times when I’ve been down and in a deep dark place, wondering how I was ever going to get through it.
However, God was my rock and He always made sure that I came out stronger than before. I should never stay down, because as long as I pray to God about my problems, He will sort me out and make something good come from the bad.
But the part that really hits me hard is when the choir sings, “Some things we have not, because we ask not / When we have a friend who cares”. There are too many times when we forget about our friend Jesus and try to do everything for ourselves, on our own terms, which results in a lot of things going wrong. Yet Jesus tells us that what we ask for, we will receive; we just need to truly believe that.
The choir then continue to sing, “Oh what peace we often forfeit / Oh what needless pain we bear”, which stirs up so many emotions within me and at times reduces me to tears. I’ve endured so much inner conflict and felt so much pain, because I’ve done things my own way and not turned to God for help. Instead, I looked to other people for help, support, reassurance, love and attention, which usually resulted in further turmoil and made me feel a lot worse.
The song ends with the reassuring and hopeful words, “We should never be discouraged when we / Take it to the Lord in prayer”. These are words that we should all remember as we go about our everyday lives, as we could be much more positive if we let God handle our business instead of always trying to handle it ourselves.
This song rings so true to my life, as I’d struggle through my difficult situations alone and come up with solutions I thought would be best suited to me. I wouldn’t usually ask for what I needed, but I’d find myself regularly asking for what I wanted.
And when I came to God in prayer, I wouldn’t really be praying in faith but I’d be saying things for the sake of saying them. Then when I didn’t get what I wanted, I’d lash out in anger and anguish, leading to further pain.
But now I’ve started speaking to God about everything in my life and instead of saying empty prayers, I now pray to Him in faith. I ask for what I need and come to Him with my struggles or inner conflicts.
I’m not trying to control everything or do it on my own anymore, and it’s done wonders for me. I’m genuinely happier than I’ve been for a very long time and I feel truly blessed. God really is working in my life and I can see the results.
All I can say is What a friend I have in Jesus, who made the first step by loving me so much that He died for me on a cross when I am so unworthy. He makes me want to be better every day of my life.
Just always remember these words: “We should never be discouraged when we / Take it to the Lord in prayer”