Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Covenant Prayer for the New Year

Lord Jesus, if Thou wilt receive me into Thy house, if Thou wilt but own me as Thy servant, I will not stand upon terms.  Impose on me what condition Thou pleasest; write down Thy own articles; command me what Thou wilt; let me be Thy servant.
Make me what Thou wilt, Lord, and set me where Thou wilt.  Let me be a vessel of silver or gold, or a vessel of wood or stone; so I be a vessel of honor.  I am content.  If I be not the head, or the eye, or the ear, one of the nobler and more honorable instruments Thou wilt employ, let me be the hand, or the foot, as one of the lowest and least esteemed of all the servants of my Lord.

Lord, 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 trodden under foot for Thee.

Let me be full; let me be empty.

Let me have all things; let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily resign all to Thy pleasure and disposal.

O most holy God, I beseech Thee, accept the poor prodigal prostrating himself at Thy door.  I have fallen from Thee by my iniquity and am by nature a son of death and a thousandfold more the child of hell by my wicked practice.  But of Thy infinite grace Thou hast promised mercy to me in Christ if I will but turn to Thee with all my heart.  Therefore upon the call of Thy gospel, I am now come and, throwing down my weapons, submit myself to Thy mercy.

And because Thou requirest, as the condition of my peace with Thee, that I should put away my idols and be at defiance with all Thy enemies, I here from the bottom of my heart renounce them all.  I firmly covenant with Thee not to allow myself in any known sin, but conscientiously to use all the means that I know Thou hast prescribed, for the death and utter destruction of all my corruptions.  I humbly affirm before Thy glorious Majesty that it is the firm resolution of my heart to forsake all that is dear unto me in this world, rather than to turn from Thee to the ways of sin.  I will watch against all its temptations, whether of prosperity or adversity, lest they should withdraw my heart from Thee.

And since Thou hast, of Thy boundless mercy, offered graciously to me to be my God through Christ, I call heaven and earth to record this day, that I do here solemnly acknowledge Thee as the Lord my God.  I do here take Thee, the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for my portion and do give up myself, body and soul, for Thy servant, promising and vowing to serve Thee in holiness and righteousness all the day of my life.

O blessed Jesus, I come to Thee hungry, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked, unworthy to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord, much less to be solemnly married to the King of Glory, But since such is Thy unparalleled love, I do here with all my power accept Thee and take Thee for my Head and Husband, to love, honor, and obey Thee before all others, and this to the death.  I renounce my own worthiness and do here avow Thee for the Lord my righteousness.  I renounce my own wisdom and do here take Thee for my only Guide.  I renounce my own will and take Thy will for my law.

And since Thou hast told me I must suffer if I will reign, I do here covenant with Thee to take my lot, as it falls, with Thee and by Thy grace to run all hazards with Thee, purposing that neither life nor death shall part between Thee and me.

Now, Almighty God, Searcher of Hearts, Thou knowest that I make this covenant with Thee this day, without any known guile or reservation, beseeching Thee that if Thou seest any flaw or falsehood therein, Thou wouldst reveal it to me and help me to put it right.

And now, glory be to Thee, O God the Father, whom I shall be bold from this day forward to look upon as my God and Father.  Glory be to Thee, O God the Son, who hast loved me and washed me from my sins in Thy own blood and art now become my Savior and Redeemer.  Glory be to Thee, O God the Holy Ghost, who by Thy almighty power hast turned my heart from sin to God.

O eternal Jehovah, the Lord God Omnipotent, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Thou art now become my Covenant-Friend, and I, through Thy infinite grace, am become Thy Covenant-Servant.  And the Covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.  Amen.

Taken from "John Wesley's Covenant Service: For Those Who Would Make or Renew Their Covenant with God, 1780," as found in Wesley Hymns, Compiled by Ken Bible, Lillenas (Nazarene) Publishing Co., 1982.

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