Let these poems about prayer remind you of the power of prayer. In these poems you will find verses reflecting on the relationship that prayer gives us with God. Prayer can be described as talking with God. And, the poems
remind us to talk with God not just in the bad times of our life but in the good times!
We doubt the word that tells us, — Ask,
And ye shall have your prayer;
We turn our thoughts as to a task,
With will constrained and rare.
And yet we have; these scanty prayers
Yield gold without alloy:
O God! but he that trusts and dares
Must have a boundless joy.
The Power Of Prayer
Poet: John Henry Newman
There is not on the earth a soul so base
But may obtain a place
I n covenanted grace;
So that his feeble prayer of faith obtains
Some loosening of his chains,
And earnests of the great release, which rise
From gift to gift, and reach at length the eternal prize.
All may save self,—but minds that heavenward tower,
Aim at a wider power,
Gifts on the world to shower.
And this is not at once; — by fastings gained,
And trials well sustained,
By pureness, righteous deeds, and toils of love,
Abidance in the truth, and zeal for God above.
Poet: Richard C. Trench
Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make!
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched ground refresh, as with a shower!
We kneel, when all around us seems to lower, —
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel, how weak! we rise, how full of power!
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others, that we are not always strong, —
That we are ever overborne with care, —
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled, — when with us is prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage are with Thee?
How Shall I Pray
Poet: Susan Coolidge
Father, how can I thus be bold to pray
That Thou shalt grant me that, or spare me this?
How should my ignorance not go astray,
How should my foolish lips not speak amiss,
And ask for woe, when fain they would ask bliss?
How shall I dare to prompt Thee, the All-wise,
To show me kindness? Thou art ever kind.
What is my feeble craving in Thine eyes,
Which view the centuries vast, before, behind,
And sweep unnumbered worlds like viewless wind?
Thy goodness ordereth what thing shall be,
Thy wisdom knoweth even my inmost want;
Why should I raise a needless prayer to Thee,
Or importune Omnipotence to grant
My wishes, dim, short-sighted, ignorant?
And yet I come, — for Thou hast bidden and said;
But not to weary Thee, or specify
A wish, but rather with this prayer instead:
"O Lord, Thou knowest, —give it or deny;
Fill up the cup of joy, or pass me by."
Just as Thou wilt is just what I would will.
Give me but this, — the heart to be content,
And, if my wish is thwarted, to lie still,
Waiting till puzzle and till pain are spent,
And the sweet thing made plain which the Lord meant.
Poet: James Montgomery
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath.
The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters heaven with prayer.
Poet: Mrs. F. Browning Burroughs
Unanswered yet, — the prayers your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail? is hope departing?
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer;
You shall have your desire, — sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? though when you first presented
This one petition at the Father’s throne,
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So urgent was your heart to make it known;
Though years have passed since then, do not despair,
The Lord will answer you, — sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? nay, do not say ungranted;
Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done;
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
If you will keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see, — sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? faith cannot be unanswered, —-
Her feet were firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock, —
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done, — sometime, somewhere."
The Children's Prayer
Poet: Lincoln Hulley
Listen, "Now I lay me down to sleep:
It is the children praying;
Low bending at their mother's knee,
I hear their voices saying:
"I pray the Lord my soul to keep" -
Oh, hear them yet imploring,
A tender grace to older hearts
Their childish faith restoring!
"If I should die before I wake" -
The words are scarcely spoken
When memory wakes up the past
And proves His care unbroken.
"I pray the Lord my soul to take,"
Chimes in each childish treble,
And then their prattle turns away
To book or doll or pebble.
That evening prayer, though, means so much
To all the children praying!
Their souls with God it keeps in touch,
And will through all their straying.
Art Thou not weary of our selfish prayers,
Forever crying, "Help me! Save me, Lord!"
We stay fenced in by petty fears and cares,
Nor hear the song outside, nor join its vast accord.
Is not the need of other souls our need?
After desire, the helpful act must go,
As the strong wind bears on the winged seed
To some bare spot of earth, and leaves it there to grow.
Still are we saying, "Teach us how to pray!"
Oh, teach us how to love, and then our prayer
Through other lives will find its upward way,
As plants together seek and find sweet light and air.
by W. H. G. Temple
True prayer is no earth-born thing.
It is falling helpless at a Father’s knee in answer to His call.
It is the putting up of empty hands to receive what has been already promised.
It is a poor, weak, trembling echo of divine love.
It is a pure thought, born in Heaven and struggling back again into its native atmosphere,
with some of the dust of earth upon its wings.
Poet: Guy Hootman
I like to meditate alone and pray,
But something grips my soul in such a way.
That I am made to kneel
When I with others kneel
A close relationship.
And when we all that prayer begin
"Our Father", it makes us all akin,
For we God's children are and dear
To Him, and to each other near
In close relationship.
In The Firelight
Poet: Eugene Field
The fire upon the hearth is low,
And there is stillness everywhere;
Like troubled spirits, here and there
The firelight shadows fluttering go.
And as the shadows round me creep,
A childish treble breaks the gloom,
And softly from a further room
Comes: " Now I lay me down to sleep."
And, somehow, with that little prayer
And that sweet treble in my ears,
My thought goes back to distant years,
And lingers with a dear one there;
And as I hear the child's amen,
My mother's faith comes back to me,
Crouched at her side I seem to be,
And mother holds my hands again.
Oh for an hour in that dear place!
Oh for the peace of that dear time!
Oh for that childish trust sublime!
Oh, for a glimpse of mother's face!
Yet, as the shadows round me creep,
I do not seem to be alone,
Sweet magic of that treble tone
And "Now I lay me down to sleep! "
Poet: Sir Aubrey de Vere
So let it be! The prayer that Christ enjoins
Live ever in our soul and on our tongue!
So let it be! The worship He assigns, —
Our great Creator, — with thanksgiving song,
From hearths, in temples, yea, wild woods among,
Pour forth! So let it be! As drooping vines
Drink the reviving shower, so sink along
Our hearts His precepts! Lo, one word enshrines
Full attestation of our faith! "Amen"
Includes the sum of our assent, and bears
The seal of truth: it is the wing of prayers
Speeding the voice of millions, not in vain,
To God’s high throne, borne on seraphic airs,
To ratify in Heaven our glorious gain!
Three Doors Of Prayer
Poet: George Matheson
Three doors there are in the temple
Where men go up to pray,
And they that wait at the outer gate
May enter by either way.
There are some that pray by asking;
They lie on the Master’s breast,
And, shunning the strife of the lower life,
They utter their cry for rest.
There are some that pray by seeking;
They doubt, where their reason fails,
But their mind’s despair is the ancient prayer
To touch the print of the nails.
There are some that pray by knocking;
They put their strength to the wheel,
For they have not time for thoughts sublime:
They can only act what they feel.
Father, give each his answer,—
Each in his kindred way;
Adapt Thy light to his form of night,
And grant him his needed day.
Give to the yearning spirits,
That only Thy rest desire,
The power to bask in the peace they ask,
And feel the warmth of Thy fire.
Give to the soul that seeketh,
’Mid cloud, and doubt, and storm,
The glad surprise of the straining eyes
To see on the waves Thy form.
Give to the heart that knocketh
At the doors of earthly care
The strength to tread in the pathway spread
By the flowers Thou hast planted there.
Then, in the common temple,
There shall worship, hand in hand,
The lives that man’s heart would hold apart
As unfit to dwell in one land.
For the middle wall shall be broken,
And the light expand its ray,
When the burdened of brain and the soother of pain
Shall be ranked with the men that pray.
Poet: R. C. Trench
When prayer delights thee least, then learn to say, —
Soul, now is greatest need that thou shouldst pray.
Crooked and warped I am, and I would fain
Straighten myself by Thy right line again.
Oh, come, warm sun, and ripen my late fruits;
Pierce, genial showers, down to my parched roots!
My well is bitter; cast therein the tree,
That sweet henceforth its brackish waves may be.
Say, what is prayer, when it is prayer indeed?
The mighty utterance of a mighty need.
The man is praying, who doth press with might
Out of his darkness into God’s own light.
White heat the iron in the furnace won;
Withdrawn from thence, ’tis cold and hard anon.
Flowers from their stalks divided, presently
Droop, fail, and wither in the gazer’s eye.
The greenest leaf, divided from its stem,
To speedy withering doth itself condemn.
The largest river, from its fountain head
Cut off, leaves soon a parched and dusty bed.
All things that live, from God their sustenance wait,
And sun and moon are beggars at His gate.
All skirts extended of thy mantle hold,
When angel-hands from Heaven are scattering gold.
Poet: J. S. B. Monsell
I asked for grace to lift me high
Above the world’s depressing cares;
God sent me sorrows,— with a sigh
I said, “He has not heard my prayers."
I asked for light, that I might see
My path along life’s thorny road;
But clouds and darkness shadowed me,
When I expected light from God.
I asked for peace, that I might rest,
To think my sacred duties o’er;
When lo! such horrors filled my breast
As I had never felt before;
And "oh," I cried, 'can this be prayer
Whose plaints the steadfast mountains move?
Can this be Heaven’s prevailing care?
And, O my God, is this Thy love?"
But soon I found that sorrow, worn
As Duty’s garment, strength supplies,
And out of darkness meekly borne
Unto the righteous light doth rise.
And soon I found that fears which stirred
My startled soul God’s will to do,
On me more real peace conferred
Than in life’s calm I ever knew.
Then, Lord, in Thy mysterious ways
Lead my dependent spirit on,
And whensoe’er it kneels and prays,
Teach it to say, "Thy will be done!'
Let its one thought, one hope, one prayer,
Thine image and Thy glory see;
Let every other wish and care
Be left confidingly to Thee!
by F. D. Maurice
Prayer seeks that which lies below all words.
From those who pray as children one desires only to learn;
their lives are better and more beautiful commentaries upon
their prayers than any the schools can furnish.
Teach Us To Pray
Teach us to pray
Oh, Father! we look up to Thee,
And this our one request shall be,
Teach us to pray.
Teach us to pray.
A form of words will not suffice,--
The heart must bring its sacrifice:
Teach us to pray.
Teach us to pray.
To whom shall we, Thy children, turn?
Teach Thou the lesson we would learn:
Teach us to pray.
Teach us to pray.
To Thee, alone, our hearts look up:
Prayer is our only door of hope;
Teach us to pray.