I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow

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.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,

And He, I trust, has answered prayer!

But it has been in such a way,

As 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 pow’r,

Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel

The hidden evils of my heart;

And let the angry pow’rs 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?

“’Tis 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 may’st find thy all in Me.”

—-John Newton

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