What a Friend

14 Nov

What a FriendLast Sunday one of our hymns was What a friend. Out of curiosity (I have a lot of that) I looked to see when this beautiful poem was written and who was the author. Fortunately our church uses an older hymnal which has the information at the bottom of the song. What a Friend was written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven. Apparently the longing for friendship and comfort is not new to mankind. The song has three stanzas and I would love to share them with you. I am taking the words from a Broadman Hymnal that was used in my church when I was a very young child. It is so old there is no copyright/publication page.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.
How those words speak to my heart! Someone wants to bear my
O what peace we often forfeit
O what needles pain WE bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
How silly am I when I choose to wallow in my pain when I
have friend who will bear it for me!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged.
Take it to the Lord in Prayer.
So many times have I felt discouraged. Who hasn't known 
the utter exhaustion of raising a family, trying to meet 
everyone's needs and no one meeting our needs.
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.
Have you been at the end of yourself, longing to share your
 heartache with someone? I have.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

This brings to mind a modern song, Strong Tower by Kutlass

“You are my strong tower. Fortress when I’m weak”

What a blessing to know that my friend will be strong for me,
 and be my refuge.

Do your friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in Prayer.
His arms he'll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

My friend, DiVoran once shared with me her personal picture of a grandfatherly God who would take her upon his lap, wrap his arms around her and just rock and love her. That has always stayed with me and often when praying for someone I ask for them to know  that blessed feeling of being wrapped in God’s arms of love.
You can read a short biography here or a more detailed account here.

6 Responses to “What a Friend”

  1. DiVoran Lites November 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    When I hear that song or sing it I feel Christ’s love deep in my soul. You are right-on. What a beautifully written blog.


    • Onisha Ellis November 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      I do too, DiVoran. Two posts in one week, must be a record for me.


  2. itsrebekahlyn November 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Thank you. I needed that today.


  3. Louise Gib son November 14, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Alta, how uplifting!!! I truly needed that this morning. I sang right along as I was reading your message! Yes, what a friend we have in Jesus, our blessed Savior. It is because of him that I write poetry…He is so inspirational…my problems seem to fade away when I put my thoughts on paper. God bless…have a GREAT day!


    • Onisha Ellis November 15, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      I needed to hear it too, Mrs Gibson. It reminded me how rich I am having such a friend,



  1. Take it to the Lord in prayer | I'm a pilgrim - December 16, 2013

    […] What a Friend (oldthingsrnew.wordpress.com) […]


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