A thought from the pen of George Swinnock (c. 1627-1673), on the topic of prayer. It is based on Psalm 50.15, where we read, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
“God is so gracious that He condescends to converse with poor, sinful, dust and ashes. Prayer is one of the most pleasant ways He has appointed for children of men to walk with Him. His children whisper to Him in the ear, and open their minds and hearts as His intimate friends. Prayer is our chief duty and brings heaven down to man. There is no duty that has so many promises attached to it, gives more honour to God, or which receives more honour from God. It is a guard to secure the fort of the heart, a porter to keep the door of the lips, and a shield to protect the hands. It perfumes every relation and profits every condition. No one can deprive you of this privilege. You can pray with Peter on the house top, with Jonah at the bottom of the ocean, walking in the field with Isaac, and with our Saviour on the mountain, or in a prison with Paul. Every saint is God’s temple and may pray anywhere. Every house is a house of prayer. Prayer is pouring out the soul to God in the name of Christ, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ A prayer in a moment can fly to the highest heavens. It is a sweet savour to God, a terror to the devil, and a shelter to a Christian. Bernard calls it the conqueror of him who is invincible, and Luther says that it is omnipotent. By prayer fire has been quenched, water divided, the mouth of lions stopped, iron gates opened, the windows of heaven opened, the course of nature overturned, diseases removed, health restored, sin subdued, grace bestowed, kingdoms supported, enemies scattered, the blind restored, and devils cast out. Prayer is the midwife to bring mercies to the believer that were conceived in the wounds of promise. God commands His people if they are in any perplexity to call upon Him in the day of trouble and He will hear.”
Let not your heart be troubled.
Glory be to God!
Rev. Anthony Rivera
 Richard Rushing, ed., Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2009), 315.