Exhortation to Prayer.
By William Cowper. No. 60, Book II, Olney Hymns, 1779 (Long Meter)
In this hymn the author exhorts and encourages us to prayer. He acknowledges the hindrances to prayer, but then spells out it worth, including the “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” Though who oft complain they have no words for prayer and praise usually have plenty when time comes to complain. May our prayer, praise, and good cheer “oftener be.”
1. 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?
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 thro’ weariness they failed,
That moment Amalek prevailed.
5. 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.
6. 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!”