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 heaven with prayer. Prayer is the contrite sinners' voice, Returning from his ways; While angels in their songs rejoice, And cry--"Behold he prays!" O thou, by whom we come to God-- The Life, the Truth, the Way; The path of prayer thyself hast trod; Lord! teach us how to pray. From Spiritual Songs for Social Worship, 1881.