What various hindrances we meet

In coming to the 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 we no words, ah, think again!

Words flow apace when we complain

And fill our fellow-creature’s ear

With the sad tale of all our care.


Were half the breath thus vainly spent

To Heaven in supplication sent,

Our cheerful song would oftener be,

‘Hear what the Lord has done for me.’


William Cowper, 1731-1800

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