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.”

Prayer Answered by Crosses,” John Newton (1779)
in The Christian’s duty, exhibited in a series of hymns, 1791 

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