‘The peace we often forfeit’ — Encouragement from New Zealand to Pray

Posted on September 5, 2023 
Filed under Encouragement, New Zealand

“Among the hymns that formed part of the background noise of my upbringing, one of my favourites was ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’.

Just look at the title – what message could be more uplifting for a child? The opening words ooze with warmth:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

But the second half of the opening stanza offers something of a sting in the tail:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

What seemed heart-warming to a child who could only absorb a title now strikes me as a rebuke whenever I sing it. I don’t know what was in Joseph Scriven’s mind as he wrote the poem that became this hymn (thanks, Wikipedia). But I wonder whether he was reflecting on James’ words: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (Jas 4:2)…”

The latest edition (September 2023) of Ministry Matters from the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand, is packed with encouragement to pray.

Do take the time to read, and then pray – including praying for Bishop Jay Behan and the churches of CCAANZ and the preaching of Christ in New Zealand.