UNANSWERED PRAYER (By: Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

Like some school master, kind in being stern, 

Who hears the children crying o'er their slates
And calling, "Help me, master!" yet seems to help not,

For in His silence and present refusal lies 

Their self-development, so God abides

Unheeding many prayers. He is not deaf 

To any cry sent up from earnest hearts; 

He hears and strengthens when he must deny.
He sees us weeping o'er life's hard sums,

But should he give the key and dry our tears, 

What would it profit us when school were done 

And not one lesson mastered?

What a world

Were this if all our prayers were quickly answered.
Should our desires, 

Voiced one by one in prayer, ascend to God

And come back as events shaped to our wish, 

What Chaos would result!
In my fierce youth 

I sighed out breath enough to move a fleet, 

Voicing wild prayers to heaven for fancied boons

Which were denied; and that denial bends

My knee to prayers of gratitude each day

Of my maturer years. Yet from those prayers 

I rose always regirded for the strife 

And conscious of new strength. Pray on, sad heart,

That which thou pleadest for may not be given,

But in the lofty attitude where souls 

Who supplicate God's grace are lifted, there 

Thou shalt find help to bear thy daily lot 

Which is not elsewhere found.


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