“Have You No Words?” (a question from William Cowper)

English: Russian icon from second half of the ...

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?

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 Christian’s armor bright;
and Satan trembles, when he sees
the weakest saint upon his knees.

While Moses stood with arms spread wide,
success was found on Israel’s side;
but when through weariness they failed,
that moment Amalek prevailed.

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.

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.”

 

from the wonderful “Olney Hymns”

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