Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

A dear friend from my Bible study back home shared this prayer from John Wesley via email.

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 by 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. Amen.

I have decided to paraphrase it in modern language for myself, for it to be real to me, today.

Covenant Prayer

I no longer belong to myself, but I belong to You, God.

You give me the work You want me to do; You rank me as You see my value and place (not as I or any one else ranks me).

I want to do the work You give me, even when I have to give something up I really don’t want to give up, even if I would one day, in another culture or another mood of my culture, suffer for You.

Work me all You want; but I also accept when You lay me aside like a Potter waiting for the pottery to dry enough to be shaped some more[1].  Whatever You choose for me, set me apart for You.

If you want me to raise in fame and popularity so I can speak Your Good News to the masses, all right, God!  If you want me to be humbled and to remind me that no one responds to me or my work, but only to You and Your work, yes, God, that’s okay, too.

I want to be filled with Your Presence.  Yes, God, bring that about!  But when you don’t gift me with the experiential piece of my salvation, when You let me sit hungry for You, reminded of my dependence on You, that’s okay, God, too.

When I have all the relationships I seek, all the delights of Your goodness in this world, when I feel fully content, let me worship You and not those things.  And when the relationships in my life aren’t working, when I’m lonely or missing someone, when I see the sorrows of the entrance of sin in the world and focus on that and struggle to find Your goodness here, when I feel nearly faithlessly discontent, let me worship You anyway.

This is hard, God, but I want to give You all I have.  It’s not so hard for me with my stuff, but it’s awfully hard to yield my thought patterns, my choice of words and jokes, my behaviors and nuances, my comfort zone, my expectations, my dreams, and my thirst to be in control over to You.  But I give You these, too, recognizing my gift is fearful and trembling; wrest it from my hands before I pull it back and hold it tight in idolatry to my chest again.

What I give, I give for Your delight and Your use.  I struggle to remember that what is for Your glory is not against the good of the world, but rather for it.  That You would draw every soul to Yourself.  That glorifying You is not participating in the rote action of singing familiar songs or praying compulsory prayers, but that glorifying You is delighting in Your love, and delighting in the sharing of that love with all who I can.  All who I can.

And now, my glorious and blessed God, my Father and Judge, my Redeemer and Advocate, and my closest Friend and Guide, You–in a way I do not understand–belong to me.  You give me Yourself as an inheritance.  And I–in more of a way that I do understand but do not wholly yet practice–belong to You.  Instruct and strengthen me so I can believe that You belong to me, and sanctify and shape me so I can be more and more Yours until the day I die and I am finally yielded fully to You.

So be it.

This is the covenant of belief that I’ve made on earth, but

You will seal the deal in Heaven through the blood of Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6-7, NLT)

Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, . . (from Hebrews 12:24, NLT)

____________________________________

[1] Credit to Day of Discovery’s beautiful video, The Potter: Reflections of a Master Artisan You can watch it for free by clicking link or this website: http://www.dod.org/Products/The-Potter–Reflections-of-a-Master-Artisan__DOD2332.aspx

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