The secret of prayer

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

For he who climbs to say his prayer
Meets half way the descending Grace.

ELSA BARKER, in British Review.

This is the secret of all prayers
   That in God’s sight have worth,
They must be uttered from the stairs
   That wind away from earth;
And he who mounts to speak the word,
He shall be heard. He shall be heard.

And he who will not leave himself,
   But stays down with his cares,
Or with his thoughts of pride and pelf,
   Though loud and long his prayers,
Beyond earth’s dome of arching skies
They shall not rise. They shall not rise.

Oh, ye who seek for strength and power
   Seek first some quiet spot,
And fashion through a silent hour
   Your stairway, thought by thought;
Then climb, and pray to God on high:
He shall reply. He shall reply.

from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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