Posted by: rcottrill | April 2, 2014

Tell It to Jesus

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Words: in German, Edmund Simon Lorenz (b. July 13, 1854; d. July 10, 1942); English translation, Jeremiah Eames Rankin (b. Jan. 2, 1828; d. Nov. 28, 1904)
Music: Edmund Simon Lorenz

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The German version of the song was published in 1876, and the English translation in 1880. (That same year, Rankin also gave us the song, God Be With You Till We Meet Again.) Both Lorenz and Rankin served as pastors in the United States. In addition, Edmund Lorenz founded the Lorenz Publishing Company in 1890, which has been administered by succeeding generations of the Lorenz family, and continues to produce a variety of church music to this day. (It’s now known as the Lorenz Corporation.)

As I note in the Wordwise Hymns link, this is one of the most repetitious gospel songs we have. Some two dozen times we’re told to “tell it to Jesus”–and you can add another one if you include the title! But there are certainly things that bear repeating, and this is one! So there may be merit to this song, simple and repetitious though it is. The Wordwise Hymns link also gives you a Bluegrass version of the song.

CH-1) Are you weary, are you heavyhearted?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a Friend that’s well known.
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone.

T he Bible is a book of prayer. The word itself is used over three hundred times, and that does not account for similar terms–beseeching God, calling on God, seeking God, and so on. Add to that all the times we read of individuals or groups actually praying. In his book All the Prayers of the Bible, author Herbert Lockyer lists over six hundred and fifty of them.

Prayer is both a privilege and a duty, both appropriate and helpful.

1) Prayer is a privilege. Almighty God, the Ruler of all the universe, gives us a gracious invitation to talk with Him, day or night, and bring our needs before Him, promising that He is a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God (Ps. 50:15; Isa. 55:6; Jer. 33:3). Further, prayer is a privilege won for us at the cross. A new and living way into the presence of God was opened for us by our Saviour (Heb. 10:19-22).

2) Prayer is a duty. We have a responsibility to engage in prayer (Lk. 18:1). It is commanded in the Scriptures (I Thess. 5:17). And there are many who need our prayers (our intercession). Would we deny a cup of water to a thirsty soul, if it were in our power to give it? No, not if we have sensitivity to those around us. And many more needs can be met by the Lord, in answer to our prayers–even those of individuals on the other side of the globe can benefit (II Thess. 3:1).

3) Prayer is appropriate. There are many kinds of prayer. Because we are coming to the Lord God, prayers of worship, and of praise and thanksgiving are certainly appropriate (Ps. 34:1; 103:1-5). And since He is holy, and our lives are marred by sin, prayers of confession are also suitable and timely (I Jn. 1:9).

4) Prayer is helpful. For our own needs, and for our spiritual growth, we ought to pray. The resources of heaven are limitless, and we come to a God who is both loving and wise. He will answer according to what is best (Lk. 11:9-10; Heb. 4:15-16; Jas. 1:5; I Jn. 5:14). It is this area that is the main focus of the present song.

CH-1. Are you weary, or discouraged? Are you grieving some sense of loss? These are things you can talk to the Lord about.

CH-2. Do you sorrow over your own faults and failings? Do you have sins that perhaps only you know about? Then, talk to the Lord about these things, seeking His protection against them.

CH-2) Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

CH-3. Do you fret over sorrowful losses that may come up ahead? Are you anxious over the trials and troubles that tomorrow may bring? Then pray, tell the Lord all about it.

CH-3) Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

CH-4. Unless the Lord comes first, which He may, each of us will die. Does that bother you? Or are you longing for the Lord to come and usher in eternity’s cloudless day? Tell the Lord and seek His grace.

CH-4) Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

1) Which of the concerns mentioned above is particularly on your own heart today? Will you take it to the Lord in prayer?

2) Which of the concerned mentioned is a burden for someone you know? Can you bear them up in prayer today? And are you ready to become a partial answer to your own prayer, by offering a helping hand?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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