Skip to main content

What is prayer?

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear;
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

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 rest with prayer.

JAMES MONTGOMERY 
(1771-1854)

James Montgomery was only five when his parents left him in boarding school and shipped off as missionaries to the West Indies, never to be seen again. Remarkably, James grew up to be a prominent publisher, hymnist, and avid supporter of overseas missions. He wrote four hundred hymns, the best-known being the Christmas carol “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” But Montgomery later said he received more praise for this hymn than anything else he had written. It a hymn that explains prayer in a wonderfully poetic way!

The hymn assures that in some prayer is not very difficult because if we are in union with Christ, our entire being is lived in His presence. He hears our every sigh and sees our every tear. Alexander Whyte makes the same point that Montgomery makes when he says,
To say within ourselves, "I will arise and go to my Father,"-that is to begin to pray. To see what we are, and to desire to turn from what we are-that also is to pray. In short, every such thought about ourselves, and about God, and about sin and its wages, and about salvation, its price and its preciousness; every foreboding thought about death and judgment and heaven and hell; every reflection about the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ; and every wish of our hearts that we were more like Jesus Christ: all our reading of the Word, all our meditation reflection, contemplation, prostration and adoration; all faith, all hope, all love; all that, and all of that same kind,-it all comes, with the most perfect truth and propriety, under the all-embracing name of "prayer"; it all enters into the all-absorbing life of prayer.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

Are we worth saving?

In the famous film The Fifth Element , Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) poses a challenging rhetorical question to Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) : What's the use in saving life when you see what you do with it? (Watch  here ).   She is speaking 250 years in the future, where life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo (the "Fifth Element") can stop Great Evil from extinguishing life. Leeloo is the vulnerable but "supreme being" that comes as human being to save humanity. To accomplish her task she has to activate the four elemental stones of earth, wind, fire and rain, with her self in the middle as the "fifth element" that is forged into the ultimate weapon against Great Evil. It is at this point of salvation, inside the temple of stones, that Leeloo becomes disillusioned and unwilling to perform the role. She comes to realise that human beings are themselves so evil that they are not worth saving. Any “salvation” will be tempor