Exhortation to Prayer

by William Cowper

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 darken’d 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 fail’d,
That moment Amalek prevail’d.

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.”

(borrowed with thanks from here.)

2 thoughts on “Exhortation to Prayer

  1. Strong, sweet medicine!! similar to “Oh, what peace we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear, all because …” THANKS for sharing this beautiful piece written by a man who himself struggled with strong doubts and fiery trials. Makes me want to FRAME it and read it every day!

  2. Indeed! It’s a lesson repeated over and over… ‘this is the refreshing!’ we say, almost surprised, every time God meets us in prayer! 🙂 He is so faithful.

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