The Wesleyan Covenant: Imagine the scene…

by | Feb 8, 2024 | 2024 | 0 comments

A cathedral in East London in 1775; 1800 people packed wall-to-wall in a building meant to hold 800 (pictured left in Spitalfields, England). 

Standing room only… there is a buzz amongst the crowd as they gather from all over the city.

They have been anticipating this moment for months, gathering in their small groups to pray for this; fasting in anticipation for what God would do… a sort of drying of the wood

They gathered like kindling, awaiting the fire of the Holy Spirit to pour out. The gathering was the first ever Covenant Renewal Service in the burgeoning Methodist movement. They gathered for a chance to renew their commitment to Christ, to confess, to repent, to reflect and ultimately to meet with God.

At that first gathering, they prayed this prayer Wesley wrote for a people called to surrender; called to pursuit of something greater than themselves.  

“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.”

This became a focal point of their gathering and a meditation ushering in a mighty movement of the Spirit of God

These words tilled the soil of their hearts and allowed God to put a powerful deposit into their hearts that would fuel the movement to come. These 1800 men and women continued late into the night travailing before the Lord. Wesley would later write of these Covenant Services in his personal journal saying…

“Many mourned before God, and many were comforted…”

“It was an occasion for a variety of spiritual experiences … I do not know that ever we had a greater blessing. Afterwards many desired to return thanks, either for a sense of pardon, for full salvation, or for a fresh manifestation of His graces, healing all their backslidings” 

When we enter into worship, what is the posture of our hearts? 

Are you willing to receive what God might give? 

When we seek the Lord, he gives us what we need; not always what we want. 

I want what is on the left side of the prayer; maybe what I need is on the right. Are you willing to receive? 

This is a heart of surrender.

Hey Friends! is a weekly devotional from your Missions Pastor Clint Wyllie. If you have a question or a comment, Clint would love to hear from you. Email Clint at clint.wyllie@kingwoodmethodist.org

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