The Covenant service was introduced by John Wesley in 1755, although he continued to develop it throughout his life.

For more information about the Covenant Service follow this link to the national Methodist Church website.

traditional words used by Methodists

A distinctive feature of Methodism is the Covenant Service. This special service is usually held early in January, or at other significant times in the life of the Church, and is used to celebrate all that God has done for us, and affirm that we give our lives and choices to God.

In the service there is a prayer which commits the believers to accept God’s will which may involve hardship and suffering. This would have helped the Martyrs see the injustice and privations for themselves and their families as part of God’s purposes for the good of humankind.

The 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.

 

"To an outsider, these words can seem quite harsh, but at heart this in a expression of love.

Perhaps the key phrase is the last line: in saying these words we are expressing our love for God, to the same extent that he has offered his love to us.

As a Methodist I often reflect on this prayer, and it helps me in my daily life as I deal with things that are hard. It is easy to imagine how the Martyrs might have held on to these words when things turned bad."

Matthew Reed, Local Preacher in the Bridport & Dorchester Circuit