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 favoured 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, 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 the schemes of earthly joy, that thou mayest seek thy all in Me.”