Prayer is the Soul’s Sincerest Desire

“For where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.”

Matthew 6:21 (AMP)

Several interesting articles hit my inbox this week. The common theme running through these articles is that you have to practice your “craft” – whatever it is – if it’s important to you. And if you aren’t regularly practicing your craft, it’s not important. Can you call yourself a painter if you never paint, or a builder if you never build, or a teacher if you never teach? If you aren’t spending time doing whatever your thing is, why not? Maybe it was part of your past, something you used to enjoy, but outgrew. Or maybe it’s something you still like doing, but don’t make the time to do. The Bible tells us in both Matthew and Luke that where our treasure is, that is where our heart is. How we invest our time is important, and it says a lot about who we are.

It made me think about our “40 Days of Prayer” study. We are learning about prayer. We are learning how to pray. We are learning how to be a praying Church. Many of us are learning how to make prayer a priority. It’s important. If we don’t spend time talking to God, how can we say we want a relationship with Him? We have a wonderful, merciful, and loving Father who just wants to spend time with us, and he’s given us direct access to Him through prayer.

James Montgomery (1771-1854) wrote “Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” in 1818.  His poem originally had eight verses, and was used in Sunday School classes before he published it in “The Christian Psalmist” in 1825. This hymn is considered by some to be the greatest hymn on the subject of prayer. Montgomery wrote over 400 hymns, six of which are included in our hymnal, including “Hail to the Lord’s Annointed” (UMH #203), “Angels from the Realms of Glory” (UMH #220), “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (UMH #290), and “Stand Up and Bless the Lord” (UMH #662).

Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire (UMH #492)

Words: James Montgomery, 1818

Music: USA campmeeting melody


Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed,

The notion 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 contrite sinner’s voice, returning from their way,

While angels in their songs rejoice and cry, “Behold, they pray!”


Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air;

Their watchword at the gates of death; they enter heaven with prayer.


O  Thou, by whom we come to God, the Life, the Truth, the Way:

The path of prayer thy self hast trod; Lord, teach us how to pray!


As we continue to learn about prayer, let’s also continue to build the habit of praying. Let’s make being in relationship with God, communicating with Him, our priority. Being able to talk with Him is a privilege and a blessing. Our heavenly Father is eagerly waiting to hear from us.

Have a blessed week,

Julie Morgan