Happy New Year!
In the early days of the Methodist movement, the Methodists would gather on New Year’s Eve for a special service called a Watch Night Service, or sometimes called a Covenant Renewal Service. The point of these special services was to confess sin and commit to God for the coming year
I know of no churches today that keep these Watch Night services; however, the hallmark of those services is a special prayer that we still regularly pray today called the Wesley Covenant Prayer. On this first Pastor’s Note of the new year, I want to draw our attention back to this prayer, because this prayer is one of the best ways to enter into the new year. While many of us are making resolutions about what we can do to make ourselves better, the Wesley Covenant Prayer takes a different approach. It is a prayer of surrender, not resolution.
As we enter this year, I encourage you to take some time and surrender your year and your future to the Lord. Instead of committing yourself to a resolution that you probably won’t keep, give your year and yourself fully to God and see what he can do in you when you let go. Take some time today and pray through the Wesley Covenant Prayer. Pay special attention to any phrases that give you pause or catch your attention because those places probably reveal places in your life you need to surrender to God.
Here’s the Wesley 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.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
I can’t wait to see you on Sunday.