When we speak of our “Methodist DNA” we find six components: Wesley’s Standard Sermons, Wesley’s Notes on the New Testament, the Articles of Religion, and three documents prepared by the Wesleys to define and direct the movement–‘The Character of a Methodist,’ ‘The General Rules,’ and ‘The Covenant Renewal Service.’
The Covenant Renewal Service was the worshipful way that “the people called Methodist” annually updated their personal and corporate commitment to God. At the heart of the service was the covenant prayer–an act of consecration we continue to use today, and one which we would all do well to be praying as General Conference begins and continues…
“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.”