Covenant Prayer for the New Year

John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement. A brilliant organizer, he formed societies throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. He appointed itinerant, un-ordained preachers to evangelize and care for people in the Methodist societies. Wesley wanted every Christian to attain the status of perfect love, wherein the love of God and neighbor would reign in the hearts of people. Wesley preached in the fields, halls, cottages, chapels – and in churches that would allow him entry.

In 1755 Wesley wrote the following covenant prayer as part of an annual Covenant Renewal Service which he developed for the Methodist societies. The annual renewal service was usually held during the first Sunday of the new year in each of the local societies in Britain. The Covenant Prayer expresses profound gratitude, trust, and humility towards God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and a generous faith-filled offering of one’s life in total dedication and service to Jesus Christ. 

[Note: Minor word and style changes were made to allow the text to be more accessible to modern readers. Editor]

The Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things 
to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it. 
May this covenant made on earth continue for all eternity. 

[The following petition was often added after the Covenant Prayer:]

Christ has many services to be done. Some are easy, others are difficult. Some bring honor, others bring reproach. Some are suitable to our natural inclinations and temporal interests, others are contrary to both… Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us.

> See The More Excellent Way, a sermon by John Wesley

Top image of praying hands before an open Bible and candle, from, © by Kalina Vova, stock photo ID: 19540097, used with permission.

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