“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19
We awake everyday to anxious thoughts. And, in much greater degrees, the Lord’s consolations and mercies, await us as well. But, to which do our minds take us most–anxiety or prayer? That’s what hymnist William Cowper asks in the 18th century song, called Hindrances to Prayer:
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 darken’d 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.
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,
Your cheerful song would oftener be,
“Hear what the Lord has done for me!”
Imagine singing this in church? Maybe we should consider singing it to ourselves, or at least agree with Paul, to
“Pray at all times.” Ephesians 6:18
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving!”