Sunday in worship, we join many other United Methodist Churches in kicking off the New Year by participating in an adaption of John Wesley’s Covenant Service. Central to this Service is the opportunity for us to hear God’s offer to enter into a loving, covenant relationship with Him. This covenant is not a business contract between God and us so that certain goods and services can be exchanged. Rather, it is the means of grace by which we accept the relationship God offers and then seek to sustain it.
The focal point of the service is Wesley’s Covenant Prayer:
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
This prayer embraces the whole of life in all its parts. It is a difficult prayer to say and really mean it. If we are honest, it not only challenges us, but it also makes us uncomfortable. It asks questions of our faith and demands that we examine our relationship with God. I hope you will take some time today (and maybe this week) to reflect on some questions and Wesley’s Prayer:
Read through the prayer slowly, a line at a time.
• What jumps out at you?
• What would you find easy to say?
• What would you find difficult to say?
Think about how it might apply to your life, to the whole of your life.
• What things might God be asking you to stop?
• What might God be asking you to continue?
• And what new things may God place in your life?
If you want to chat about it, let me know. Together we can grow as those who have chosen to be Jesus followers.