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A Beautiful Lyric on Prayer

James Montgomery, 1818

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 contrite sinner’s voice,

Returning from his ways;

While angels in their songs rejoice

And cry, “Behold, he prays!”

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,

The Christian’s native air;

His watchword at the gates of death;

He enters heaven with prayer.

O Thou, by whom we come to God,

The Life, the Truth, the Way,

The paths of prayer Thyself hast trod:

Lord, teach us how to pray!

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