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!
2  Prayer makes the darkened cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
3  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.
4  While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Israel’s side;
But when, through weariness, they failed,
That moment Amalek prevailed.
5  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.
6  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