[CF Devotionals] 2008-06-21 - A Summer Poem on Prayer

Jeremiah 6:16 Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls.

You all know I like poetry. I try to keep my use of it to a minimum, but I found this poem from a journal that was published in the summer of 1837. It is not noted in the journal as a poem, but rather it is called a prayer. It was written by someone named Jane C. Bell. She is probably no longer with us. I have reprinted it exactly as it was when published. There is one change I have made in the last stanza, and I have made a parenthetical clarification.

OH blessing infinite! beyond compare!
Heaven's choicest boon -- the privilege of prayer!
How oft, in hours of sickness and of pain,
When all the sympathy of man is vain,
When fever burns upon the throbbing brow,
And scarce the parched lips can breathe the vow,
The secret longing of the soul sincere, --
Felt, but unheard, save by th' Immortal Ear,
Hath call'd such sacred solace from the sky,
As made it peace to live or peace to die!

How oft, when sorrow shadowing o'er the heart,
Hath hid each fresher hope of joy depart,
When disappointment, with a wintry frown,
Dashes the golden cup of pleasure down,
And changing tides, on life's uncertain sea,
Alarm the bark of frail humanity,
A single breath of earnest, pious prayer
Hath wooed to sleep the murmurs of despair,
And shed o'er earth, and all her green domain,
A light and beauty never seen till then!

But not alone, in melancholy hours,
The spirit feels devotion's hallowed powers;
For oft, when sunshine beaming on our way,
Might tempt to vanity and sin astray,
'Tis bliss and safety, with adoring eye,
To life the thoughts with grateful love on high,
And own, with meek and reverential mind,
His hand who gives whatever joy we find,
Whose grace and goodness only can disarm
Grief of its sting, joy of its fatal charm.

Oh blessing infinite! beyond compare!
Say, what were man if shut the gate of prayer!
'Tis, prayer its glory o'er creation flings,
And speaks its Author to be King of kings;
'Tis prayer that gives to life a higher tone,
And points to brighter worlds when this is gone'
'Tis prayer that proves divine our nobler part,
And opes (opens) the deepest fountains of the heart;
Prayer is the wing by which we mount to heaven,
And taste on earth the bliss to angels given!

Soli Deo Gloria,

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