Prayer for the New Year
by John Wesley
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.
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 humillity 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.
Minor word and style changes were made to allow the text to be more accessible
to modern readers. Editor]
> See The
More Excellent Way, a sermon by John Wesley
am no longer my own but yours.
me to what you will, rank me with whom you will.
me to doing, put me to suffering.
me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
for you, or brought low for you.
me be full, let me be empty.
me have all things, let me have nothing.
freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
your pleasure and disposal.
now, glorious and blessed God,
Son and Holy Spirit,
are mine and I am yours. So be it.
this covenant made on earth continue for all eternity.
following petition was often added after the Covenant Prayer:
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.