Prayer Answered by Crosses

Introduction by Dottie Ryan
Poem by John Newton

In a recent Falling in Love Again with Your Lord session, Laurie read a poem to us during her lecture.  She thought it might be a blessing for you to have this poem at your fingertips.

May your Lord speak to your heart through the words that were penned by John Newton.  O the beauty of poetry when it is bent towards our Lord, discovering His ways are higher than our ways –- discovering more of who He truly is and determined not to hang so tightly-gripped to who we thought He must be.  O the peace that comes as we begin to open closed hands and minds to His truth and embrace His grace and love instead.  And O what comfort awaits us as we are brought to the realization that the pain, the suffering, the trials we may be currently experiencing, . . . well, that others have and are experiencing something similar.  And oddly enough, we can find a sort of solace in the fact that someone else “gets it.”

I wonder…have you ask the Lord for more grace and faith?  Does it seem to come in a way you hadn’t anticipated?  Are you willing to see a trial, a season, a painful dealing as an answered prayer by a loving God? Can prayer really be answered by crosses? I pray His Spirit would shine light on the “otherness” of God as you read, meditate, and pray through this poem and that we would all come to a deeper realization of His Divine Sovereign Love.  Ah that we would allow Him to be our all in all!

“Prayer Answered by Crosses”

by John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith and prayer 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 hop’d that in some favour’d 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 bade 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.

Those inward trials I employ, From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou mayest seek thine all in Me.

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