WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast:
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward gleaming of an eye,
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high:
Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watch-word at the gates of death,
He enters heaven by prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And say, Behold he prays!
The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, in deed, in mind,
When with the Father and the Son
Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
The Holy Spirit pleads;
And Jesus, on th’ eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.
“O Thou, by whom we come to God!
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer thyself hast trod,
Lord, teach us how to pray!”