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A Poem by John Newton

I Asked the Lord That I Might Grow
by John Newton (1779)
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.”