Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
uttered or unexpressed;
the motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.
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 watchword at the gates of death:
he enters heaven with prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
returning from his ways;
while angels in their songs rejoice,
and cry, ‘Behold, he prays!
The saints in prayer appear as one,
in word and deed and mind;
while with the Father and the Son
sweet fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone:
the Holy Spirit pleads,
and Jesus on the 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!
James Montgomery, 1818
Read Luke 11:1-4