A moving hymn by John Newton. I don’t think I have the guts to try to set it musically for fear of somehow losing the power of the text itself.

Prayer answered by crosses

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. Olney Hymns (1799), Book III, 36.

Post filed under Hymns.

2 Comments

  1. I think you should give it a shot, if only to hear the entire congregation sing the words “blasted my gourds.”

  2. Ralph Gallagher says:

    A christian is not a good person, but one who knows how truely bad they are!

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