Prayer in John 14

Bible Book: John  14 : 12-14
Subject: Prayer

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, wrote, “He prayeth best who lovest best, all things great and small.” I have heard prayer testimonies for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a home where prayer received a lot of emphasis. My mother called me at 4:15 each morning and I headed to the barn to milk the cow, and tend to other chores before returning to the kitchen for breakfast. We would sit down looking over steaming hot biscuits, eggs, and bacon or ham. No, we didn’t eat it while it was hot, we read the Bible and prayed until it cooled off! It never occurred to my parents that we might have had prayer, eaten a hot breakfast, and then had our family altar. In time I would understand that prayer and Bible study meant a lot more to my mother than bacon and eggs. I would finish breakfast and go back to the barn and separate the cow and calf, feed all the other livestock, go back into the house and get ready for school. Then I would walk a mile and a quarter to catch the school bus at the county line. I lived in one Tunica County and went to school in Quitman County, Mississippi. It was only after I began driving the bus my senior that they let the bus run to our home.

I was called into the ministry when I was thirteen years old, licensed when I was seventeen, and ordained when I was nineteen years old. When I was growing up we live and breathed Scripture and prayer. I majored in Bible and in Sociology at Mississippi College and then went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where I spent a lot of time in prayer and Bible Study. Then I would return home and discover that my mother had seemed to grow more in her prayer life than my professors and fellow students. It was amazing.

When medical errors made by two different “foot specialists” all but totaled me out, I began praying “More fervently.” I would lie in bed at night and quote Scripture to the Lord. “Lord,” I would say, “the Bible says the fervent, effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much, and I am praying as fervently as I know how.” I would get up the next suffering more than when I had gone to bed!

I know the Lord hear my petitions, but instead of answering my prayers my way He did it his way.
If he had done it my way I am sure I would have forgotten all about the whole experience before long. As it was, I had to give up hunting, fishing and travel, and I had to look to my family to do things for me that I had normally done for myself. In place of those activities the Lord me into a deeper commitment to Bible study and then provided an opportunity for me to teach Bible studies for many years. I thank the Lord now that He answered my prayer His way.

I also thank my Lord for lessons He has taught me about prayer. Friends often send e-mail messages with quotations about prayer, and some of us remember comments on prayer from our personal study. I don’t remember who said it first, but I wish I had thought of this one: “The only thing that lies beyond the reach of prayer is that which lies beyond the reach of God.” Prayer is such a simple thing: a child can do it; it is such a deep thing that scholars may easily miss the underlying meaning of it; and it is so important that Jesus Himself taught His disciples, and in so doing taught you and me the significance of prayer in the Model Prayer (often called The Lord’s Prayer). John recorded our Lord’s in His Farewell Discourse (John 17).

When I was pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Nederland, Texas way back in the seventies, one of our faithful deacons, Bob Moore, came to my study one Sunday morning and told me about a lady named Kay whom he had asked to speak to the entire Youth Department during their assembly program. He really wanted me to hear this lady’s testimony. The next Sunday morning he brought her to my study and she shared her remarkable testimony with me. She was a “devout” Catholic and she was married to a “stubborn” Baptist when they moved from Port Arthur to Nederland, and was warned, “You are moving in next to the biggest bunch of Baptists in Nederland.”

Kay was very leery of her new neighbors, the Hinsons, when they came over and introduced themselves. She declined their offer of assistance in any way. She watched her neighbors for two years, knowing that sooner or later she would see evidence that they were not for real. That never happened, but their teenaged daughter began dating and she reasoned that there are a lot of temptations for teenagers, so I am going to watch Billie, and if this is not for real I will see it. One day, Kay walked into her kitchen and dropped down on her knees and prayed, “Lord, they have something I don’t have. Please give it to me.” She called on Jesus to save her and before long she was being asked to share her testimony.

Kay came to see me some time later and told me that a neighbor had rushed over to her house a week or two earlier with news that her son was in a hospital in Beaumont and they were not expecting him to live. “Will you pray for him,” she asked. “If you pray for him I know he will get well.” Kay told me that the lady had just come to her house, thanking her for praying for her son. She said, “It was your prayers that saved him. You prayed for him and God heard you and healed him.” Kay said to me, “I am so ashamed. I prayed for him, but I really did not believe God was going to heal him.” She had leaned a valuable lesson. Have you ever prayed and realized that you were distracted, prayed without less than perfect faith, or were uncertain just how to pray? If so, you won’t mind looking with me at some things the Bible teaches us on prayer.


A. Adam and Ever Prayed in the Garden of Eden.

1. They had a regular time for prayer. In the “cool of the day” Adam and Eve walked with their Creator. This was a time of fellowship. As a matter of fact, no other man or woman has walked with the Lord as did Adam and Eve. At the same time, He gives you and me the opportunity to walk with him in faith every day, all day.

2. They had a regular pattern of prayer. They talked with God, their Creator, and He talked with them. There has never been anything like that since the Garden of Eden. Perhaps our image of the Garden of Eden should be shaped more by that relationship than the names of animals and the beauty of the plants.

B. The Patriarch’s Were Men of Prayer.

1. Enoch walked with God. The Scripture tells us that “ Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered Methuselah. And after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered ⌊other⌋ sons and daughters. So Enoch’s life lasted 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him” (Gen 5:21-24, HCSB). My friends, this is not just Bible trivia! This is history: it really happened. It has only happened one other time in the history of the world and that was when Elijah was taken up to heaven without having to die first.

2. Noah received instructions from the Lord. There are a lot of people I want to question when I get to heaven and one of the first to come to mind is Noah. I once heard about a man who had survived the Johnstown Flood that killed 2209 people and flooded a large area of Pennsylvania on May 31, 1889. This man grew old in the area and he was constantly telling everyone he met about the Johnstown Flood. Neighbors began avoiding him. Strangers never forgot him. One day he died and went to heaven and the first person he was he stopped and asked, “Can I tell you about the Johnstown Flood?” The man said, “Certainly, but first let me introduce myself. My name is Noah.”

Noah received God’s announcement of judgment upon the entire world and then he received the Creator’s detailed plans for the first ever great floating boat. There is something else that I would like for you to consider. There are those who have made the claim that the Mosaic Law was based on the Code of Hammurabi. Let me offer a better suggestion. The Code of Hammurabi based on laws handed down from Noah and his sons to their sons, and on down to the time of Hammurabi. Those rules and laws would have gone through a lot of changes over the years but the roots would have gone back to Noah. Wouldn’t it be something if those rules and ordinances could be traced back to God’s instructions to Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden? Some day we will know.

3. Abraham called on the Name of the Lord. The Lord called him when he lived in the Ur of the Chaldees and told him to go to a Land of Promise. As he traveled, wherever they stopped, Lot and others pitched their tents. Abraham built an altar and called on the name of the Lord. When he misled the Pharaoh of Egypt about Sarah, Pharaoh sent him out of the land and he returned to the place of the altar.

4. Isaac was a quiet man who spent time with the Lord in prayer and meditation. We are not given a lot of information about Isaac, but imagine the impact on him when the Lord told Abraham his father to offer him as an offering on an altar. Isaac’s experience was prophetic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who actually died on the Cross, but was raised on the third day.

5. Jacob wrestled with God in prayer. Jacob was a colorful character, born the second of a pair of twins and when he was born he was grasping his brother Esau’s heel. He was given a name that in essence meant “heel grasper”, or one who follows after another to trip him up. Jacob was also a spoiled brat, a mommy’s boy who deceived his father and stole the birthright from his brother. To escape the wrath of Esau he fled to the land of his mother’s father and on the way he had an encounter with the Lord. Following that encounter, the Lord said,

“Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven” (Gen 28:15-17, HCSB).

Jacob, whose name would be Israel, named the place Bethel, which means “house of the God.”

C. Moses and Samuel are remembered for their intercessory prayer.

1. When God announced that He would destroy the Israelites, Moses interceded for them. The Israelites continually rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness and He finally announced that he would destroy the whole nation and begin all over with Moses. Moses interceded for his people and the Lord relented and continued his covenant with the Israelites (Numbers 14).

2. Samuel was a mighty prayer warrior for the Israelites. Samuel and Joseph, seem to me to be more like a New Testament saint than most of the people we encounter in the Old Testament. The people of Israel pleaded with Samuel to pray for them:

“They pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so we won’t die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves.”

(20) Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord. Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart. (21) Don’t turn away to follow worthless things that can’t profit or deliver you; they are worthless. (22) The Lord will not abandon His people, because of His great name and because He has determined to make you His own people.

(23) “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you”
(1 Sam 12:19-23).

3. God told the Jeremiah that, “...Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My compassions would not ⌊reach out⌋ to these people” (Jer 15:1, HCSB). Both Moses and Samuel were known for intercessory prayer.

4. The prophets prayed to the Lord. Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Daniel were men of prayer. Daniel had a prayer plan and program. Even at the risk of his life he went to his window facing Jerusalem and prayed at the same time each day.


A. Jesus Prayed to the Father.

1. Following His baptism Jesus faced temptations from the devil. For forty days, Jesus submitted Himself to tests from the prince of this world, and three times quoted the Word of God to refute Satan.

2. Jesus often withdrew to be alone with the Father. Those who hold a unitary theory of God should remember that Jesus often withdrew from the crowds to spend time with His Heavenly Father. If there was no Father, Jesus was deceiving His followers. Those who accept a trinitary view of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - have no problem with this. Jesus prayed to the Father from the beginning of His ministry until His urgent appeal to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

3. He prayed for His disciples. John 17, in His Farewell Address, in the closing hours of His life on this earth, Jesus prayed for His immediate disciples: “I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (John 17:6). Jesus in what really is The Lord’s Prayer, continued praying for His disciples:

“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours. (10) All My things are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been glorified in them. ( 11) I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are” (17:9-11).

(13) Now I am coming to You, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have My joy completed in them.” .... (15) I am not praying that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. (16) They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. (18) Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
Jesus not only prayed for those faithful apostles, He prayed for all believers, including you and me:

(20) I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. (21) May they all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so that the world may believe You sent Me.... (25) Righteous Father! The world has not known You. However, I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me. ( 26) I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and that I may be in them” (From John 17).

4. He prayed for the lost. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, so we know He never lost sight of the lost in this world. He sent His disciples out to witness to lost people and we can be sure He was praying for them and for those to whom He sent them to witness. Even on the cross, Jesus prayed for those who were crucifying Him and for those who were mocking Him.

5. He prayed over Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem! Jerusalem that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing! (38) See! Your house is left to you desolate. (39) For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt 23:37-39).

B. Jesus Taught His Followers to Pray.

1. He taught them how not to pray. He said, “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!” (Matt. 6:5).

2. He taught followers how to pray (Matt. 6:5-8). (6) “But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (7) When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. (8) Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.”

3. He Taught them to pray. A lot of people know how to say a prayer, but not all of those people know they should pray. They are not sufficiently motivated to pray. In the Model Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13), Jesus teaches us the basic thoughts and components of genuine prayer to our Heavenly Father.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matt 6:9-15, KJV).

3. His disciples prayed. While long prayers are not recorded in the New Testament, it is obvious to any student of the Word of God that the disciples were men and women of prayer. On the Day of Pentecost the disciples were gathered together awaiting the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. Can there be any doubt that these committed believers were praying for the fulfillment of His promise? In Acts 3:1, we read that Peter and John were going to the temple complex at the hour of prayer when they encountered a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb. The man was miraculously healed.

Peter and John prayed for boldness in face of threats from religious leaders (Acts. 4:29). The apostles asked believers to choose seven men to perform services need in the early days of the church. “But,” they said, “we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the preaching ministry.” I once read that, according to an ancient tradition, James the half brother of our Lord was called Old Camel Knees because his knees were so calloused from kneeling on His knees to pray for the church, for believers, for lost people, and for Israel.

One of the great prayer warriors of the last century was Leonard Ravenhill, who compiled a book of the sayings of E. M. Bounds on prayer. John Wesley was perhaps the brightest light for the Gospel on this planet at one time, but in time those with genuine spiritual discernment became aware of a mighty saint who might drop to his knees and pray to the Lord for three hours at a time. I would like to share just a few of the quotes from E. M. Bounds that Leonard Ravenhill recorded in his book.

“He (Jesus) taught Paul how to pray by the revelation of himself, which is the first call to prayer, and the first lesson in praying.”

“Prayer is no petty invention of man, a fancied relief for fancied ills.”

“Prayer is no dreary performance, dead and death-dealing, but is God’s enabling act for man, living and life-giving, joy, and joy-giving.”

“Prayer fills man’s emptiness with God’s fulness. Prayer fills man’s poverty with God’s riches. Prayer puts away man’s weakness with the coming of God’s strength.”

“What is this prayer to which men are called? It is not a mere form, a child’s play. It is serious, difficult work, the manliest, the mightiest work, the divinest work which man can do.”


“I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. (13) Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14).

A. First, There Is the Privilege of Prayer.

My wife and I taught our sons to pray by encouraging them to talk personally to God. There were times when we had some long prayers at meal time and bedtime. They prayed for friends, for pets, for grandparents, and about anything that came to mind. There is no criticism intended here when I mention this, and memorized prayers can be used to teach children to pray. We had a guest speaker at church one Sunday and we invited him to eat Sunday dinner with us. I asked our six years old John to lead us in thanking God for our meal. As soon as he began to pray I remembered the name of the speaker and assumed I would be helping him with his prayer. However, when he got around to our guest John said, “Be with Bro. Geoeli Settimbrini.”

Prayer is indeed a privilege, but there was a time when the subject of prayer became an assignment for me. When I enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program I discovered that the book, With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray was required reading for every student. I have never read a book by Andrew Murray that was not a blessing, but this one stood out among all the books I have read on prayer. I served two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees for LifeWay Christian Resources and the third time I drove to Glorieta, New Mexico for a meeting, my son John informed me that my new car had an MP-3 player in it. He downloaded a number of things he thought I might enjoy listening to on the way, and one of those was Andrew Murray’s book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, read by some actor. If you want a blessing, get a copy of that book and spend some time with it.

B. There Is also the Opportunity to Pray.

There are opportunities to pray every day. I have a lengthy prayer list, a list of people for whom I pray every day. Perhaps you do, too. Regardless of that, the Lord will provide you with opportunities to pray every day. Most of those opportunities for prayer may be about things you consider routine, but some may be really weighty issues. For years, I kept a copy of a book by F. B Meyer on my desk. I believe it was in that book that I read the story I want to share with you today.

F. B. Meyer was sailing on an ocean going vessel to a port where he was scheduled to preach when he suddenly became aware of the fact that the ship was not moving. He waited a little while and then went to see the captain to ask why they were not moving. The captain said, “Fog has moved in on us and we cannot see to go on.” Meyer said, “I am scheduled to preach in that city tonight and I have to be there.”

The captain, and you can imagine what may have been going through his mind, waved at the heavy fog ahead of the ship and told him again that they were “fogged in.” F. B. Meyer said, “Let’s get on our knees and ask God to lift the fog.” The captain may have only been trying to humor the great preacher, but he got down on his knees with him and heard Meyer pray, “Oh, God, you have given me a place to preach for you tonight, and if I am to make it, you must lift the fog. So, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command the fog to lift. In Jesus name, Amen. Captain, let’s get the ship under way.”

The captain trying to be patient with the godly preacher stood up and waved his hand to the front and said, “We are surrounded by.....” There was not fog in sight. Folks, faith is not believing God can do it, faith is believing God will do it!

C. Then, There Obligation to Pray.

We must pray for the lost, for those who are sick, for those whose life hangs by a thread in some hospital, and for one another during trials. We must also pray for our country. Major Ian Thomas was another of those godly British preacher/scholars who seemed to glean just a little more from passages in the Bible than most of us. He had served his country for years and was about to be retired when World War II broke out in Europe. Major Thomas was sent to the Island of Malta as Governor. The island could supply none of the food, clothing, arms, or any of the other things necessary for their survival. The Italian army launched bombing attacks but for some reason they never figured out, they never tried to invade the island. The supply line was never broken. Malta, he was convinced, survived by the grace of God. There was no other way to explain it. There were times when the British needed to move troops on the continent of Europe when they were in extreme danger. If a German pilot had discovered them the whole army would have been wiped out. They prayed and God sent a cloud cover. And not just once. England survived because God saved their troops.

D. There Is the Encouragement to Pray.

Roy Raddin share an experience that happened in his study in Greenville, Mississippi many years ago. He was sitting in his study when there was a knock at the outside door to the study. He opened the door to see a huge woman and a very tiny man standing there. She was in compete control and he was very obedient. She announce that they wanted to get married, stood the frightened little man by her side and told Roy to go on.

Roy said he man was shaking by the time they finished with the ceremony and when the woman said, “PAY HIM!”, the nervous little man pulled out an old time change purse and pulled out two dollars and handed it to him. They left by the back door, but before the door closed Roy looked up and saw the little man peeping around the edge of the door. Both hands were on the edge of the door and he man was peeping around the door with his face between his hands. In what seemed a desperate and squeaky little voice, he said, “Prea-cher, praay for me?” There are folks out there who need our prayers today.

E. There Is the Way to Pray.

There really is a way to pray, but you need to be very careful when it comes to dictating to others how they should pray. You want to pray while walking? Walk. You want to lie prostrate on the ground? All right. You think you can only pray early in the morning? Set your alarm. You can only pray privately? You sometimes want a prayer partner? Great. Just remember one thing: Jesus taught, “Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Jesus also promised, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). He stressed that you must pray believing if you want the Lord to hear you.

My mother prayed while I was growing up in the Mississippi Delta. I remembered her prayers, but what surprised me was going home a number of years after I had finished seminary to discover how many people there were in the area who came to my mother with their prayer requests. I had watched my mother grow in the Lord while I was growing up, but really didn’t stop to appreciate it. When young adults would drive some distance to confide in her or to ask her to pray for them I realized that my mother had continued to grow in the Lord.

F. There Is the Commitment to Pray.

I have watched Bible lectures by people like Leonard Ravenhill and Stuart Briscoe, and heard men like the late Ron Dunn talk about prayer. I met Bro. Storey at a pastors conference in Jackson, Mississippi when I was a young pastor and someone told me that when he retired the church furnished him an office and a telephone and encouraged him to call anyone he felt needed his prayers.

We could mention any number of prayer warriors today, but one name comes to mind at this time.
Stephen Olford. We walked across the stage the same night to receive our degrees from Luther ice Seminary (he received the ThD and I received the D.Min.). After the ceremonies I had an opportunity to meet and visit with Stephen Olford. Interestingly, he had been asked to speak to fellow students at a colloquia, which, I discovered was a required, but less than formal meeting during the week before graduation. It was interesting, thought I, that a fellow student would be speaking to us. As I talked with Stephen Olford, I became very conscious of something: I was looking into the eyes of a man of great humility, and at the same time I was looking into the eyes of a man of great power.

A number of years later, I went with friends to attend a meeting at the North American Mission Board in Atlanta. After a break we walked back into the conference room and discovered that a conversation was going on about preachers they liked to hear. Richard Harris, our leader, said, “The one I personally get the most out of is Stephen Olford.” I had hear some of his tapes and I agreed, but didn’t know how many others knew Stephen Olford.

Several years later, I heard Stephen Olford at the Nationwide Pastors Conference at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee. They had a number of outstanding preachers and my son commented on Jerry Vines and others. I told him that Jerry Vines, Adrain Rogers, Ron Dunn, and the others said what we wanted to hear them say and we loved it. Stephen Olford said some things we didn’t want to hear, but we needed it. Who wants to be told you are too lazy to study God’s Word or to pray?!

I was attending a Board of Trustees meeting for LifeWay Christian Resources when I overheard a group of trustees and leaders at LifeWay talking about the preachers the like to hear. I believe it was Dr. Gene Mimms who said that he got more out of the preaching of Stephen Olford than anyone else he had ever heard. I read somewhere that Billy Graham had said that the changing point in his ministry came when he spent a day in prayer and Bible study with Stephen Olford.

What was it that distinguished Stephen Olford from so many other? How could such a humble man preach with such power and authority? Perhaps he had an experience with the Lord before so many people came to know, or know about him. He shared an experience from his youth that had to be life shaping. He was traveling with his missionary parents and a brother, as I recall, in Africa. His father had hired natives from one tribe to help them carry their gear and guide them to a remote tribe. They were to rest at a river where they were to refill all containers with water. However, when they found the river it was dry. During the night the natives took all the water and slipped away from camp, leaving them to die of thirst.

Stephen Olford said he knew what it was like to almost die of thirst. His tongue was swollen, his lips were cracked, and his throat was totally dry. He saw his father step out from under a tree, look up toward the sky and cry out, “Oh, Lord, I know you didn’t bring us all this distance for us to die like this.” Then pointing up toward the sky, he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command clouds to be formed and rain to fall!”

Dr. Olford said that within in ten minutes they were gathering up tin cans and anything else that would hold water and began catching the rain. He had seen a miracle of biblical proportions. He knew that God is real, He exists, and He is listening. We are invited to pray.


Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote one of my favorite poems on prayer:

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of.
Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain
To me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If knowing God, they lift not hands in prayer,
Both for themselves and those that call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

-- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Let us pray.