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I Asked the Lord

Have you ever asked the Lord that he would teach you to grow in faith and love and grace? Have you ever asked the Lord that you might know more of him, or that he might give you the desire to more earnestly seek his face? John Newton asked this of the Lord and later wrote a hymn about it. It is not one that we tend to sing in our churches, but it is one that is worth reading as a poem. Newton was granted what he asked, but not in the way he had wanted or in the way he had expected.

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 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,
Cast out my feelings, 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 mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me.”