A Prayer for the New Year
What did you do on New Year's Eve? John Wesley's followers didn't hold a party or watch a ball drop in Times Square. They held covenant renewal services to rededicate their lives to Jesus Christ in the new year. This year, I pass on the prayer that is at the heart of that service (and a more contemporary version) for your use in this first week of 2014. May it be a blessed year for everyone.
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition (#607, The United Methodist Hymnal)
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 by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by 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 with I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
A contemporary version:
As much as anyone can literally “give” themselves away, I give myself to you, God. So take me, value me, use me however you wish – even if it’s to suffer for you. I’m taking this to mean that I don’t care if you pick me for an important task, or pass me by for someone else. I don’t need to be anyplace in particular on the “totem pole of life.” I defer to your will for my life. Whether it’s my time, my money, my talents, or anything else, I give it all to you. So what this means is that I am truly yours – and that you are truly mine as well. Yes! And I trust that this holy agreement that we’ve made here will be good for this life and the life to come! So be it!