Prayer for Holiness # 1

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>As we journey these last few weeks toward the Easter Triduum, I will be blogging prayers for holiness. John Wesley’s covenant prayer is well known, but difficult to pray. In a recent lecture, Bishop Ken Carder shared a personal testimony about a friend and colleague who visited him in the hospital after he had experienced a life-threatening heart attack. He was invited by his friend to receive communion and pray the following prayer. Bishop Carder later confessed that he had experienced reluctance when saying the words, especially given the circumstances. He found himself wanting to pray the “left side” (doing, employed, exalted, full) of the prayer, but not the right side. His friend (David Lowes Watson) replied, “if you have difficulty praying the prayer, then maybe you should pray it daily for a while.”

The bishop did and found the practice transforming. It is a heartening reminder that prayer is less about God conforming to our needs and will and more about us aligning our will with God’s, as difficult and challenging as that can sometimes be. I invite CC readers to pray this prayer daily for these last days of Lent as we journey toward the great Easter Feast. If you find the practice difficult, then that is all the more reason to do so. It may also aid one in reflecting and meditating on Jesus’ journey toward Jerusalem and the great prayer struggle experienced in Gethsemane.

Wesley’s Covenant Prayer
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 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. Amen.

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