So, my word for 2019 is TRUST. I have grown a lot in this area of my spiritual walk, but there are still many submissions necessary for me to be a whole-hearted, trusting disciple of Jesus Christ.
I have felt God working in my heart on the trust issue over the past year. He has been extraordinarily faithful to me. He has opened my eyes to specific places where I trust more in myself or in the material comforts of the world than in Him. He has challenged me to loosen my grip on things I hold dear. He has encouraged me to release many of my schedule commitments in order to be freer to respond to His movement. It’s been hard at times, but also good.
In our faith tradition, there is a covenant prayer that we often use in our worship services at the beginning of a new year. I have recited it many times in a congregational setting, all voices melding together to create one declaration. Every time I pray this, I am aware that I cannot pray it with my whole heart. Oh, I want to be able to. But an honest personal assessment reveals my inability to do so.
Prayers to be doing, employed for God, exalted for God, and having all things roll off my tongue quickly. I can keep up with the others reading the prayer. But these other things – rank me with whom You will, put me to suffering, lay me aside for Thee, let me be empty, and let me have nothing. What? Why on earth would I start my new year asking for such difficulties? I find myself pausing and realizing that the rest of the congregation has rushed ahead of me while I struggle with my reluctance.
So this year, I am going to keep the prayer in front of me more often. I am going to read through it slowly. From time to time, I am going to acknowledge that I am struggling with a phrase or concept it and ask for God’s guidance. I am going to declare that I want to more fully trust the work of God in my life. Whatever that means.
I believe with all my heart that His plan for my life is the absolute best. He has demonstrated how this is true for me time and time again. He doesn’t need me to understand and have all the answers. He only needs me to trust and follow Him. As we begin this new year, I encourage you to try the prayer and see how it feels for you. Peace.
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesley Tradition
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.