John Newton (1725–1807) is famous for writing Amazing Grace, the world’s most famous hymn. He also composed several other less famous yet equally beautiful hymns. My friend, Pastor Jason Wallace of Christ Presbyterian Church in Magna, Utah pointed me to this one over lunch this week. It’s called “I Asked the Lord” and worth a reflective reading.
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.”