I asked the Lord that I might grow
Have you ever prayed to God for something and found that afterward everything in your life seemed to go wrong? John Newton apparently experienced this but he realized that the troubles he experienced were in fact God’s way of answering his prayers. He wrote a hymn called I asked the Lord that I might grow in which he expressed both his frustration and his faith. Here are the words.
1 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.
2 ‘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.
3 I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once he’d grant me my request;
And, by his love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
To break thy schemes of worldly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in me.
Newton is famous as the author of Amazing Grace, but few people know about the many other hymns he wrote. Here is a complete list of his hymns:
I wasn’t aware of any of these other hymns until I obtained a hymnal which included several of Newton’s hymns. You can purchase the hymnal here:
Most of those who sing Amazing Grace don’t know that other people have added verses to it since Newton wrote it. Here is a copy of the hymn containing some of these added verses: