When Ethelred, the Saxon king of Northumberland, invaded Wales, and was about to give battle to the Britons, he observed near the enemy a host of unarmed men. He inquired who they were, and what they were doing. He was told that they were monks of Bangor, praying for the success of their countrymen. 'Then,' said the heathen prince, 'they have begun the fight against us; attack them first.'
So any unperverted mind will conceive of the scriptural idea of prayer, as that of one of the most downright, sturdy realities in the universe. Right in the heart of God's plan of government it is lodged as a power. Amidst the conflicts which are going on in the evolution of that plan, it stands as a power. Into all the intricacies of Divine working and the mysteries of Divine decree, it reaches out silently as a power. In the mind of God, we may be assured, the conception of prayer is no fiction, whatever man may think of it.
Taken from the book The Still Hour: Communion with God in Prayer
by Austin Phelps 1859