Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


Prayer moves the hand that moves the Universe.
Anonymous.—Supposed to be from Gurnall’s Christian Armour, which I have not seen. It may be found in Dr. Guthrie’s “Gospel in Ezekiel,” Discourse XXII. Page 461.

[In a kind note which the Doctor has favoured me with he says, “The passage you mention expresses a sentiment with which I have been familiar for many years. Where I saw it I cannot say. It has been produced by many writers as well as speakers. I could not have produced it as a quotation, as I do not know the exact words of its author.”

Since writing to Dr. Guthrie, I have met with the following lines which are part of a poem on
Exodus xxxiii. Ver. 10.—Rev. Thos. Washbourne, D.D.

What a commanding power
There is in prayer! which can tower
As high as heaven, and tie the hands
Of God himself in bands,
That he unable is to loose the reins
To Justice, till released from these chains!

Samson could break his cords
As tow, and yet the Lord of Lords,
Who gave that strength to Samson, can
Not break the cords of man.

Since then such virtue lives
In prayer as will exorcise
The Almighty, and fast bind His arms
In spiritual magic charms;

That power is prayer: which soars on high
Through Jesus to the Throne,
And “moves the hand that moves the world,”
To bring salvation down.
Anonymous.—Part of some lines sent to the Publisher.

In all thou dost, first let thy prayers ascend,
And to the gods thy labours first commend:
From them implore success, and hope a prosperous end.
Pythagoras.—Golden Rules. (Rowe’s Transl.)

That work which is begun well is half done,
And without prayer no work is well begun.

Hast thou not learn’d what thou art often told,
A truth still sacred, and believed of old,
That no success attends on spears and swords
Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord’s?
Cowper.—Expostulation, Line 350; and see his “Table Talk,” Line 373.

Against the will of heaven
The work was done, and thence not long endured.
Homer.—Iliad, Book XII. Line 9. (Derby.)

Holy beginning of a holy cause,
When heroes, girt for Freedom’s combat, pause
Before high Heaven, and, humble in their might,
Call down its blessing on that coming fight.
Tom Moore.—Rhymes on the Road, Vol. VII. Page 326.

Prayer is the voice of faith.
Horne.—On the 143rd Psalm, Ver. 6.

Sum up at night what thou hast done by day,
And in the morning, what thou hast to do.
Dress and undress thy soul: mark the decay
And growth of it: if with thy watch, that too
Be down, then wind up both; since we shall be
Most surely judged, make thy accounts agree.
George Herbert.—The Temple, Stanza 76.

Daily prayers atone for daily sins.
Pope.—Homer’s Iliad, Book IX. Line 623.

More things are wrought by prayer
Than the world dreams of.
Tennyson.—Morte d’ Arthur, near the end.

If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to stay:
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way!
Pope.—The Universal Prayer, Verse 8.

Behold, he prayeth.
The Acts, Chap. ix. Ver. 11.

Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer.
Longfellow.—Prelude to “Voices of the Night,” Stanza XI.

Who their ill-tasted home-brew’d prayer
To the State’s mellow forms prefer.
Green.—The Spleen, Line 336.

Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer.
Tennyson.—St. Simon Stylites.