The great balm of human woes!
(George Everard, "Daily Prayer" 1866)
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray!" James 5:13
Prayer is the great balm of human woes! Go from house to house through a country village, or through a single street in a large town — and what a sad catalogue of sorrows you may reckon up!
In one, there is a dying parent — or a child fast sinking into the grave.
In another, there is dire and distressing poverty.
In a third, perhaps, there is a heart bleeding through some bitter disappointment, or the unfeeling conduct of a beloved one.
In a fourth, there is some secret sorrow which may not be told.
In every case, through prayer, relief may be found. By it the sorrowful, afflicted one comes near to a most pitiful Father, and His loving care becomes a sure rest to the weary spirit.
The excellencies of prayer may be summed up in the words of John Chrysostom:
"Prayer, in a spiritual sense, is . . .
a haven to the shipwrecked man,
an anchor to those who are sinking in the waves,
a staff to the limbs that totter,
a mine of jewels to the poor,
a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health.
Prayer at once secures the continuance of our blessings, and dissipates the cloud of our calamities. O blessed prayer! You are . . .
the unwearied conqueror of human woes,
the firm foundation of human happiness,
the source of ever-enduring joy,
the mother of all comfort.
The man who can pray truly, though languishing in extreme indigence, is richer than all beside. While the wretch who never bowed the knee, though proudly seated as monarch of all nations, is of all men, most destitute!"
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16