Theme: Prayer Answered By Trials
See Jared Smith’s video teaching on the hymn, a devotional exposition according to the Framework of Sovereign Grace.
Text: Psalm 65:5; Acts 14:22
Psalm 65:5: “By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:”
Acts 14:19-22: ”And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
1 I ask’d 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 answer’d prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
3 I hoped, that in some favor’d hour,
At once He’d answer 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 seem’d,
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross’d 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;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayest seek thy all in Me.”
John Newton (1725-1807) was an English Anglican preacher, hymn writer and humanitarian. Prior to faith in Christ, he served as the captain of slave ships and made a living in the slave trade. After his conversion to Christ, he renounced slavery and became one of the leading abolitionists in England. He was ordained a cleric in the Church of England serving as parish priest at Olney, Buckinghamshire, for twenty years. Among Evangelical circles, he is best known for his hymns, among which are “Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken” and “Amazing Grace”.