PRAYER is the soul’s sincere desire,
   Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
    That trembles in the breast.
2  Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
    Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice,
    And cry, ‘Behold, he prays!’
3  Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
    The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
    When none but God is near.
4  Prayer is the seeker’s vital breath,
    The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
    He enters Heaven with prayer.
5  Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
    The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus, on the eternal throne,
    For sinners intercedes.
6  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!
James Montgomery, 1771-1854