Exhortation to Prayer
What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy-seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there?
Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Christian’s armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel’s side;
But when through weariness they failed
That moment Amalek prevailed.
Have you no words? Ah! think again,
Words flow apace when you complain,
And fill your fellow-creature’s ear
With the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent
To heaven in supplication sent,
Your cheerful song would oftener be,
“Hear what the Lord has done for me.”
(William Cowper, Cowper’s Poetical Works, 289.)