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. Amen.
I like this prayer. It’s beautiful. It’s sublime. It’s noble.
It’s not mine!! It’s not something I pray. And nor do I intend to pray it.
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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.
That’s, of course, understood in my relationship with Jesus. That I will love him, and do my utmost to have my heart filled with joy and praise and happiness and peace if I am put to things I did not choose, ranked lower than I would have wanted, put to suffering or laid aside, emptied and left with nothing.
I am not saying it would be easy, but, as far as I know myself, I think I would love God whatever, follow Christ whatever. What’s the alternative? Lord, to whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life.
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The Methodist Covenant Prayer was written in more fatalistic times, with a high expectation of infant mortality, of men dying young, of poverty descending in old age. It’s a bit too resigned and fatalistic for me.
And, while the Methodist Covenant Prayer is understood, of course, in one’s relationship with God, Jesus taught us that our blue sky visions are possible because of him.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7)
Greater works than these you will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)
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So that’s another way of living a Christian life, of striving to live the wild dreams which God has placed in one’s heart, of trying to live in a brilliant, techni-colour world of colour and possibility and adventure and joy and variety (like the wild natural world God designed). Living in an exciting, dreams-coming-true world which an indulgent Papa is delighted to share with you, while accepting, of course, that should all the dire things the Methodist Covenant Prayer envisions happen to, you will still accept them as discipline from your Father’s hand.