William Jay of Bath, England lived from 1769-1853, a marvelously productive period in the history of the Church. He preached from the age of 16 to 84, and saw both Wesley and Spurgeon! Of him, Spurgeon exclaimed, "O for more Jays. we would give some two or three dozen of the general run of doctors of divinity for one such a Master in Israel as William Jay of Bath." Please read the following which shows Jays' heart and his gift of exhortation. . .
Prayer is the breathing of the desire towards God. Words are not essential to the performance of it. As words may be used without prayer, so prayer may be used without words. He that searcheth the heart 'knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,' and when we cannot command language like some of our fellow-christians, it is well to be able to say, 'Lord, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hid from Thee.'
The expediency, the necessity of prayer, results from our indigent [impoverished] and dependent state. We have enemies to overcome--and how are we to conquer them? We have trials to endure--and how are we to bear them? We have duties to accomplish--and how are we to perform them? We need mercy and grace to help us --and how are we to obtain them? God has determined and revealed the method in which He will communicate the blessing He has promised. "For all these things will I be inquired of by the house of Israel. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you. Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find." And, as He is a Sovereign, and under no obligation to favor us at all, He has surely a right to appoint the way in which He will be gracious; but, in this appointment, His wisdom appears as conspicuous as His sovereignty; and His goodness as clearly as His wisdom. Nothing can be so beneficial to us as prayer is, not only by the relief it obtains, but by the influence it exerts; not only by its answers, but by its energy. Beyond everything else that is instrumental in religion, it improves our characters, it strengthens our graces, it softens and refines our tempers, it contributes to our spirituality, and promotes our holiness. The more we have to do with God, the more we shall resemble Him. "It is therefore good for us to draw near to Him."
From: The Christian's Present For All Seasons, ed. by D.A. Harsha, published by Solid Ground Christian Books.