This is Part 4 in a series of posts from Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Fourth Pastoral Letter.
Third, God often answers prayer by terrible things. So David says in Ps. 65: “By terrible things in righteousness wilt Thou answer us, O God of our salvation.” And all of you who are God’s children have found it true. Some of you have experienced what John Newton did when he wrote that beautiful hymn, “I asked the Lord that I might grow.” You prayed with all your heart, “Lord, increase my faith.” In answer to this, God has shown you the misery of your connection with Adam. He has revealed the hell that is in your heart. You are amazed, confounded, abashed. You cry, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” You cleave to a Saviour God with a thousand times greater anxiety. Your faith is increased. Your prayer is answered by terrible things. Some of us prayed for a praying spirit: “Lord, teach us to pray.” God has laid affliction upon us. Waves and billows go over us. We cry out of the depths. Being afflicted, we pray. He has granted our heart’s desire. Our prayer is answered by terrible things.