John Newton, the former slave-trader who wrote "Amazing Grace" also wrote the following hymn, "Prayer Answered by Crosses."
For my beloved wife-bones and our firstborn.
"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 hands He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe, Crossed all my fair designs I schemed, Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this? I trembling cried; Wilt thou pursue this worm to death? This is the way, the Lord replied I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I now employ From self and pride to set thee free, And break thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou may'st seek thy all in me."
Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 4:17-18; Colossians 3:1-4.