Wesley's Covenant Renewal Prayer
The people called 'methodists' were so labeled due to their belief in approaching the life of faith with a method, a plan, a specific personal goal that reflected the instruction of scripture.
A part of that was an annual 'renewal', what we might call a revival, of this commitment in a prayer used in the litugy. It was often used at New Year's and is frequently found in churches to this day. That is very fitting because it was designed to adjust the course, and gracefully urge a return to the true north of relationship and witness for the sake of the Gospel. It was a reminder to be a people of holy purpose:
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 for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for 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 which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
The Character of a Methodist at UMC Global Ministry.
Some additional resources from Wikipedia:
- Parkes, W. (1997). Watchnight, Covenant Service, and the Love-Feast in Early British Methodism. Wesleyan Theological Journal, 32(2).
- Wesley, J. (1829). An extract of the Rev. Mr John Wesley's Journal, from February 16 1749 to June 16, 1758. In The Complete Works of the Reverend John Wesley, A.M., 3rd Edition, Vol. 2, pp. 321-449. London: John Mason.
- Wesley, J. (1841). A short history of the people called Methodists, in The Complete Works of the Reverend John Wesley, A.M., 4th Edition, Vol. 13, pp. 287-360. London: John Mason. Originally published, 1781.
Image from - From "The Wesleys and Their Times," http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/ , courtesy of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church.