Scripture Verse

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. Exodus 17:11


William Cowper (1731–1800)

Words: Will­iam Cow­per, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 2, num­ber 60. Ex­hor­ta­tion to pray­er.

Music: Bres­lau As Hym­no­dus Sa­cer (Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny: 1625) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

  • Crowborough Wal­ter G. Whin­field. First is­sued in a li­tho­graphed set of Eight Hymn Tunes (Birm­ing­ham Eng­land: Priest­ly), then in Al­ter­na­tive Hymn Tunes, 1902 (🔊 pdf nwc)
Moses Holds Up His Rod


What va­ri­ous hin­dranc­es we meet
In coming to a mer­cy seat?
Yet who that knows the worth of pray­er,
But wish­es to be oft­en there.

Prayer makes the dark­ened cloud with­draw,
Prayer climbs the lad­der Ja­cob saw;
Gives ex­er­cise to faith and love,
Brings ev­ery bless­ing from above.

Restraining pray­er, we cease to fight;
Prayer makes the Chris­tian’s ar­mor bright;
And Sa­tan trem­bles, when he sees
The weak­est saint up­on his knees.

While Mo­ses stood with arms spread wide,
Success was found on Is­ra­el’s side;
But when thro’ wea­ri­ness they failed,
That mo­ment Am­a­lek pre­vailed.

Have you no words? Ah, think again,
Words flow apace when you com­plain;
And fill your fel­low crea­ture’s ear
With the sad tale of all your care.

Were half the breath thus vain­ly spent,
To Heav’n in sup­pli­ca­tion sent;
Your cheer­ful song would oft­en­er be,
Hear what the Lord has done for me!