As I walked into church the first Sunday of the new year, I was handed a card with the following words, labeled A Covenant Prayer by John Wesley, 1780. After reading it through together as a congregation, my pastor challenged us to reflect on how God is calling each of us to live out this prayer in 2015. I now share this reflection with you in hopes that you will consider what these words mean for your life.
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Lord, in this year, help me to focus less on myself and more on you. Remind me that I am a child of God, loved by you, and that you gave your life for my freedom from sin. Show me how to serve you in a way that honors you and values others.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Redeemer, I pray that you would give me opportunities to act out against injustices, and to refuse to stand by and watch as your people hurt. Put me in challenging situations so that I may be humbled and grow in may faith in you. Let me experience the suffering that Christ underwent on the cross, so that I may know and understand more fully your love.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, praised for you or criticized for you.
Use my talents and privilege, Lord, as you see fit. Mold me into the woman you created me to be. If I lose focus of you, set me on the right path, keep my eyes on Christ. Give me strength to stand up for you when others see trust in you as a weakness.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Creator, fill me with a deeper awareness of your love for all of humanity and creation, and a passion to bring your kingdom here on Earth. Empty me of resentment and anger toward those who have hurt me, and of apathy toward systemic oppression.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
Sustainer, bless me with a strong body to serve, a heart that breaks for others, and a mind that conceives new ways of sharing your love. Yet let me be content with loving relationships instead of recognition, essentials instead of material luxury, and food on the table but not excess.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
Do what you will with my life, God. Guide me in all my decisions, support me in those difficult hours, and rejoice with me in the beautiful moments.
And now God, my Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.