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Hi all,
Here is a Hymn on Prayer by that Great Poet, Letter Writer, and Hymn Composer, William Cowper. Cowper is still well remembered for his contribution, with John Newton, to the Olney Hymns published in February 1779 and which went through at least 37 editions by 1836.
I like the way this is written and especially like the challenge of the 5th and 6th stanzas, which puts us, often, to shame and shows us we have no excuse for neglecting deep heart felt prayer.

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 Christians armour bright;
And Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees.

When 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 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,
Our cheerful song would oftener be-
‘Hear what the Lord has done for me.’

William Cowper 1731-1800




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