My father, who loved poetry, recited this passage of the Morte D’Arthur to me a few
times and I have loved it ever since.
And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge:
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for 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 of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
For what are men better than sheep or goats that nourish a blind life within the brain, if, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer, both for themselves and those who call them friend?
There is so much truth in it, isn’t there? What are men or women without a vertical dimension to their lives, without the underground river of prayer running through their lives and sweetening it? What are men or women without an interior life to retreat to, their own interior castle?
And Tennyson knew, as all praying people know, that it is an absolute fact that more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.
What would you like to see wrought in your life, in someone else’s life, or in the world through your prayer?