I asked the Lord, that I might grow In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know, And seek more earnestly His face.
T’was He who taught me thus to pray and He I trust has answered prayer,
but it has been in such a way it almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour At once He’d answer my request,
and by His love’s constraining power Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel the hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
‘Lord, why is this?’ I trembling cried, ‘Wilt thou pursue Thy worm to death?’
‘This in this way,’ the Lord replied, ‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou mayst seek thy all in Me.’
John Newton –