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Bas Rijksen


Have you ever felt alone amidst life’s storms? “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” is more
than just a hymn; it’s a lifeline, offering solace and a testament to the unwavering friendship
of Jesus Christ.

Background & History

Joseph M. Scriven penned this hymn during one of the darkest moments of his life. Born in Ireland in 1819, Scriven faced numerous personal tragedies, including the loss of his fiancée the night before they were to marry.

It wasn’t meant for the world – it was his personal beacon of hope, a poem to console his soul. But when a friend stumbled upon it, the depth and beauty of its message couldn’t be contained. It began its journey, touching countless souls along the way.

Experience the haunting beauty and solace of ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’. Press play below.




1 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!

2 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!

3 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.

Lyric Analysis and Literary Devices

In the verses of this hymn, there’s a profound resonance that speaks directly to the soul. Beyond its emotional depth, the hymn uses literary devices to make its message even more impactful.

Let’s take a closer look at the line, “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!” The repetition of the opening ‘O’ emphasizes a lament or a sigh, evoking strong emotion.

Additionally, the rhythmic pattern in the verses creates a soothing, prayer-like cadence, further intensifying the hymn’s consoling nature.

This line is especially powerful as it reminds us of the peace and solace we sometimes neglect, merely because we forget to turn to prayer.

It emphasizes not just the power of prayer but the unconditional love and support that Jesus offers, waiting for us to simply reach out.

Moved by the melody and message? Download the music notes and let its spirit flow through your fingers.

Want to keep this hymn close? Download the music notes and play or sing anytime you need a reminder of Jesus’ steadfast friendship.

Personal Reflection

A few years back, as my world was crashing around me, this hymn randomly played on my radio. It wasn’t just the melody that comforted me but its words.

They reached out to me, echoing the sentiments of Joseph M. Scriven who turned to his faith during his most challenging moments. They reminded me that even in the midst of chaos, a steadfast friend was by my side.

Practical Tips on Seeking Solace

Drawing inspiration from the hymn, here are some ways you can integrate prayer into your daily life:

1. Morning Gratitude: Start your day by giving thanks for another day of life.

2. Nightly Reflection: Before bed, reflect on the day’s events and seek guidance for

3. Silent Moments: Find a quiet spot during the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes,
to reconnect with God.

4. Journaling: Write down your prayers. It’s a therapeutic way of pouring out your
feelings and wishes.

Engage with Us

Has “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” impacted your life in a special way? Share your story in the comments below. Let’s build a community where we uplift and support each other.


In a world constantly changing, the comfort brought by “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” remains unwavering. As you hum its tune or whisper its words, remember the promise it holds: You’re never truly alone.

Deepen Your Connection to God

After absorbing the depth and significance of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, are you curious about what might be blocking your path to an even deeper relationship with God?

Don’t miss this opportunity to uncover and address potential barriers in your spiritual journey.

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