A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition

There is a Wesleyan tradition of “Watchnight” services on New Year’s Eve which often took the form of a Covenant Renewal Service. The United Methodist Hymnal offers the following prayer in that tradition:

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.

I’m reprinting the prayer here because a Wikipedia entry on the Wesley Covenant Prayer attributes the same prayer to the 1936 Book of Offices of the British Methodist Church. That entry also states that there is normally a bidding such as

… Christ has many services to be done. Some are easy, others are difficult. Some bring honour, 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.

The above phrasing aligns so closely with the service in The United Methodist Book of Worship that I have no doubt of its basic accuracy.

We’re not having a “Watchnight” Covenant Renewal Service, but I would encourage you to reflect on the prayer and the invitation nonetheless. For a New Year’s resolution, one could certainly do worse.