What a friend we have in Jesus

By  Andre-Joseph Cordeiro, Youth Speak News
  • April 14, 2009
It is said in a proverb: “show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.” If that is the case, then I should be a music loving, fashion minded, game playing, theatre-loving person. While some of that’s true, I don’t see all of it. However, I am forgetting one important friend on that list: Jesus. It’s interesting, because I forget to include Him on my best friends’ list, but he is one of the people I speak to most in the day.

“What a friend we have in Jesus.” This famous hymn, a beautiful reminder of our friendship with Christ, was actually written as a poem in 1855 by Joseph Scriven. In 1845, he was engaged to be married, but his fiancée drowned the night before they were to be wed. He moved from Ireland to Canada to put it behind him. While in Canada, he met another woman, who he also was betrothed to, but she died of pneumonia, also before their marriage. The poem was originally titled “Pray Without Ceasing,” and was written to comfort his mother, who was still residing in Ireland. The poem was later re-titled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and music was written by Charles Converse.

Personally, it is one of the most powerful religious hymns I know, along with “Amazing Grace.” As for his words,“What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer,” I can’t honestly say that my first resource when I need help is a quick prayer. Usually, I’ll muddle around, trying to figure out a solution, ask my mother for advice, or even search Google for advice. Sometimes, the situation is out of my hands and then I realize that, really, it’s in His hands. I know, I know, Jesus should be my first resort not my last, but that is where I am right now, and moving in the right direction slowly but surely by His Grace

Often, I am asked why I pray by my friends and classmates. I think it’s simple: because God listens. Time and time again, no matter what situation, or what circumstance, I get answers and results, and in the perfect time (not necessarily the time frame I had in mind, but always the right time frame). 

I try to pray as often as I can, because, the way I see it, if Jesus is my friend then friends talk to one another. I’ll admit, there are days where even a silent request won’t slip from my lips, but I’m trying. For even the smallest of dreams, hopes and fears, I try and take a second to let my good friend know how I feel.

I think it takes courage to say that prayer is the answer today. In our world, disillusioned with self-improvement movements and anti-religious sentiments, it is more imperative today that we as Christians turn our eyes, hearts and minds to the heavens. The world does not realize that we cannot achieve perfection by ourselves. Perfection is unattainable, but God is merciful.

I can’t help but feel a bit down when people roll their eyes at me when I speak about prayer. They snicker and sneer, and talk about how their grandmothers still do it but how it isn’t helping them one bit. It is in those moments, though, that my good friend Jesus speaks the loudest, saying, “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

The atheist bus ad campaigns encourage the self-deception that there is no God, but there is and He cares for us.  Give Him a chance to show you that He does and He will.  St. James says, “We do not have because we do not ask.”  So take Jesus at His word, ask and receive, seek and find, knock and it will be opened to you, a whole new world of trust and peace.

(Cordeiro, 18, studies media arts at John Abbott College in Montreal.)

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.