Exhortation to Prayer

What various hindrances we meet

Author: William Cowper (1779)
Published in 496 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 What various hindrances we meet
in coming to the mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of pray'r
but wishes to be often there!

2 Pray'r makes the darkened clouds withdraw;
pray'r climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
gives exercise to faith and love;
brings ev'ry blessing from above.

3 Restraining pray'r, we cease to fight;
pray'r makes the Christian’s armor bright;
and Satan trembles when he sees
the weakest saint upon his knees.

4 Have you no words? Ah, think again:
words flow apace when you complain,
and fill a fellow-creature’s ear
with the sad tale of all your care.

5 Were half the breath thus vainly spent
to heav’n in supplication sent,
our cheerful song would oft’ner be,
"Hear what the Lord hath done for me!"

Source: Hymns to the Living God #275

Author: William Cowper

William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: What various hindrances we meet
Title: Exhortation to Prayer
Author: William Cowper (1779)
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Source: Olney Hymns (London, 1779)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Timeline

Media

The Book of Common Praise: being the hymn book of The Church of England in Canada (revised 1938) #458a
The Cyber Hymnal #7710
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)

Instances

Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #275

The Baptist Hymnal #398

TextScoreAudio

The Cyber Hymnal #7710

Text

The Song Book of the Salvation Army #646

Include 492 pre-1979 instances
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