Saturday, January 05, 2013

New Year Prayers - 1 The Methodist 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 made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

comment: this prayer should come with a health warning. If you pray it and mean it, then be prepared for God to take you seriously. If you pray it and don't mean it, why? Better not to pray it at all, even if it's things you'd like to be able to pray sincerely.

In that respect it's a bit like a lot of hymnody - Christians will easily lie if you set the words to a tune: 'All to Jesus I surrender' (really?) etc. We've begun used to saying and singing words as aspiration rather than declaration, hoping that by saying them often enough we'll eventually mean them. The opposite happens - we become so used to our lips writing cheques that our lifestyles don't cash that the words themselves become worthless. 

So, careful with this one. And (see the post before this one) only pray it if you're praying it with a community, this is virtually impossible to follow through on if you're going solo. 

1 comment:

  1. This prayer seems to me to have echoes of the "Take and Receive" prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola (he of the "Spiritual Exercises"). Both should be approached cautiously and with a great deal of preparation.

    I agree that both prayers should only be prayed with a community. This begs the question of just how the community as a whole intends to encourage, help and support its members in living out the commitments stated and implied in this prayer.