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On Opening a Place for Social Prayer

Jesus! where’er Thy people meet,
There they behold Thy mercy seat;
Where’er they seek Thee, Thou are found,
And every place is hallow’d ground.

For Thou, within no walls confined
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring Thee where they come,
And going, take Thee to their home.

Dear Shepherd of Thy chosen few!
Thy former mercies here renew;
Here to our waiting hearts proclaim
The sweetness of Thy saving name.

Here may we prove the power of prayer,
To strengthen faith, and sweeten care;
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all Heaven before our eyes.

Behold, at Thy commanding word
We stretch the curtain and the cord,
Come Thou, and fill this wider space,
And bless us with a large increase.

Lord, we are few, but Thou are near:
Nor short Thine arm, nor deaf Thine ear;
Oh rend the heavens, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts Thine own.

Olney Hymns, William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York

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