I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace ;
That I might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request,
And by His love's constraining power
He'd 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.
Yet more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe ;
He crossed all the fair designs I schemed
Emptied my heart and laid me low.
'Lord, why is this?' I trembling cried,
'Will you pursue me to my 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 you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may seek your all in me.'