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Resolve to Pray

A familiar quote we use in Inspire is ‘Begin the day with God. End the day with God. Spend the day with God.’ Matthew Henry
As we came to the end of one year (2023) and stepped into a new one (2024) we invite you to join us in a New Year’s resolution to keep for the whole year, and beyond!

End the year in prayer.
Begin the year in prayer.
Spend the whole year in prayer.

And keep on praying!

In the early Wesleyan movement the Covenant Prayer was said at the Watch Night Service which spanned the turn of the year over midnight on 31 Dec into 1 Jan. Many churches still incorporate the prayer on the first Sunday of the month. 

When you read the Covenant Prayer carefully it is impossible to pray and mean it by yourself. Some people avoid going to church services where they will be expected to say it! But the prayer is actually the commitment that Jesus calls us to every day, and it is costly.

““If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9: 23-26

As I read those words I felt the Spirit highlight a few words: Jesus is saying that if you want to be his follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross and follow me.  And if I am ashamed of Jesus, he will be ashamed of me. This is a matter of life and death! 

Following Jesus is a daily decision that we have to choose to make. But I know that I cannot give up ‘my own way’ on my own, I know that I can not ‘take up the cross’ on my own. I know that I cannot ‘follow Jesus’ in my own strength. However, I also know that I do not want Jesus to be ashamed of me when he returns in glory. 

So this year I am praying the Covenant Prayer not because I know I can fulfill the commitments but because I know I can’t. I am praying this prayer because I want to give my life to Jesus again today, and every day. I am praying this prayer because I believe that when I give myself to him then he gives himself to me because that is his promise: ‘He is mine and I am His.’ That is how I am going to give up my way and live his Way. That is how I am going to take up my cross every day. That is how I am going to follow Jesus no matter how ashamed the world tries to make me feel. 

I am no longer mine, but his… He is mine and I am his. 

But this is not just about ‘I’. Wesley introduced the Covenant Prayer as a corporate prayer because he knew that we needed one another to help us live out the commitments. It was prayed at a Watch Night Service and it was incorporated into the practices of bands and class meetings because Wesley knew that Jesus’ missional Way of Life (which is what the Covenant Prayer describes) is only possible in a community centred on Jesus. Inspire fellowship bands and house fellowships are such communities, where we help one another to live Jesus’ Way of Life, abiding deeply with God and living as everyday missional disciples.

We are no longer ours, but his… He is ours and we are his. 

We invite you to join us as we resolve to:

  • End the year of 2023 in prayer – reflecting on God’s goodness.
  • Begin the year of 2024 in prayer – discerning the Spirit’s leading.
  • Spend the year in prayer – helping one another to follow Jesus more faithfully.

Join us as we begin to keep that resolution by praying the Covenant Prayer, together: 

Dear Father God,
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Your will be done, not mine, in all things:
Wherever you may place me,
And among those you put me,
In all that you call me to do, or to endure.
Let me be put to work for you, or laid aside for you;
Let me be praised for you, or despised for you.
When I find fulfilment, and when it is lacking;
When I have all things, and when I have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly give you my life,
All that I have and all that I am, for your pleasure and purpose,
To serve you, as you choose.
Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours.
May it be so for ever.

Wesley’s Covenant Prayer, adapted Inspire Movement.


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