The Lord Will Hear Thee

Will God absent himself for evermore,
Nor hear again my supplicating cry?
Is mercy gone for ever? and the day
Of his felt presence utterly passed by?

Hath he resolved his wonted grace no more
Shall wait upon his people's earnest prayer?
His loving kindness turned to wrath, and man
But left to pray and perish in despair?

This cannot be, O thou of little faith;
'Tis thine own weakness that suggests thy fears:
The God thou seek'st can know no change, his truth
Steadfast abides through everlasting years.

And if before his face erect in hope
Thou can'st not stand, then prostrate fall and pray,
And then his hands shall raise thee up, and soon
The clouds of doubt and fear shall roll away.

Call to remembrance former days, and see
If faithful heart e'er offered fruitless prayer;
If God, commanding all to seek his face,
E'er turned from any with unpitying ear.

And look through time to that eternal day
When high shall sound the rapturous hymn of praise,
" Thou doest all things well, O Lord! and just
And true, O King of kings, are all thy ways. "

Thou in that song shalt join; the darkness past
That from thy view the answering God concealed,
The unheeded blessings of his unseen hand,
And all the wonders of his love revealed.

Then shalt thou see a Father's tender care
Displayed alike in all withheld and given:
Given — to increase thy love, and fix thy trust;
Withheld — to wean from earth and fit for heaven.

Then shalt thou see how every prayer was heard:
The ill thy blindness asked, refused; the good
Delayed, to keep thee waiting on his word;
Thy waiting blest — the blessing then bestowed

Then fear not; that petition that so oft
And warmly thou hast pressed, is not cast out;
Still wait on God! still seek, and hope, and trust,
Till light shall shine through every shade of doubt.

Though rich the boon, to which thy heart aspires,
'Tis not too vast from boundless power to flow;
Nor canst thou fear to ask what boundless love
Can never be unwilling to bestow.

Then press thy suit undoubtingly to God,
Who best knows when to grant — when to refuse;
And leave the way, and time, and all to him —
Let not thy folly, but his wisdom, choose.

And rest in this, that whatsoe'er thy prayer
Humbly and faithfully of God requires,
He will fulfil — or otherwise bestow
A gift still richer than thy prayer desires.

Would'st thou rejoice t'obtain whate'er thou seek'st?
Nor more rejoice, if from his boundless store,
Kind, above all that thou canst ask or think,
Thy Father in his bounty gives thee more.

'Tis true thou art unworthy to be heard,
But make thy want, and not thy worth, thy plea;
There is One worthy all that thou canst ask,
Who gives himself, and all his worth, to thee.

Then come, come boldly, to the throne of grace:
There stands an Advocate thy cause to gain;
Ask in his name — ask what thou wilt — his love
Assures thee that thou shalt not ask in vain.
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