Choral What a Friend SATB with congregation, piano and English horn | 3.5 min | Listen My task was simple– to select songs for a retreat on the topic of Jesus’ earthly emotional life. Early on, the beloved 1855 hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” seemed an obvious choice, though the music felt dated. Then during a walk, this more contemporary melody with a Celtic lilt arrived, and later called for the plaintive, yet serene sound of the English horn (or alto sax). This SATB version for choir and congregation includes interstitial choral bridges, connecting Joseph M. Scriven’s sweet and simple words to the biblical passages that inspired them. “Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 “The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4 What a friend we have in Jesus! All our sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry ev’rything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry ev’rything to God in prayer. For He was tempted, He was tried; Bore our sins as He died. Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our ev’ry weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord in prayer. God’s Spirit sighs with us as we cry! Our prayers as incense arise! What a friend we have in Jesus! All our sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry ev’rything to God in prayer! Soon in glory bright, unclouded, There will be no need for prayer… Rapture, praise, and endless worship will be our sweet portion there. What a friend we have in Jesus.