"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."
Many people like to have a lot of friends on social media, where they enjoy sharing their opinions, adventures, and achievements. Even apart from social media, people want and need friends. God created us to enjoy the companionship and shared trust of friendship, but sometimes friends may drift apart simply because of changing circumstances or interests. A friendship broken through shattered trust can be devastating and difficult to heal.
Our hymn celebrates a friend like no other: "What a Friend we have in Jesus!" This is not a mutually established friendship based on common interests or experiences. It did not come about because of a shared location like a friendship with a college roommate or a new neighbor. This was a relationship established by the Son of God with the sinners He came to save, sinners who had ruined their relationship with their God and Creator. Jesus "knows our every weakness." He knows every sin and every shattered friendship that we have experienced, including destructive relationships we brought on ourselves and relationships that we destroyed. Jesus told His disciples of the extreme extent of His friendship and love. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). He laid down His life for us, taking our "every weakness" onto Himself and suffering the penalty of death earned by our sins.
On the third day after His death, Jesus rose from the dead in triumph over sin, death, and Satan. God, through Jesus' death and resurrection, has reconciled us to Himself. Jesus has chosen us to be His friends. We have the privilege of taking everything, every need, every hope, to Him in prayer. As our hymn reminds us, we forfeit peace and bear needless pain when we do not seek our Lord's help.
We value our earthly friends. They are gifts of God for us, and we enjoy the love and trust we share with them. Yet at times even the best of earthly friends might be too busy to hear from us. They may have other plans, but our Friend Jesus never tires of our friendship and trust. He is always beside us and waiting to hear from us. In joy or discouragement, in weakness and in hope, in pain or in peace, our refrain must always be, "Take it to the Lord in prayer."
THE PRAYER: Jesus, Friend and Savior, hear my prayers and keep me in Your care. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," which is number 770 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you have a favorite Christian song you like to sing?
2. Has God's love helped you carry on even when human friendships have failed you?
3. How does going to God in prayer bring peace and safeguard us from pain?
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