7 Days of Prayer – Day 5

On the first Sunday of each year the Methodist Church holds a Covenant Service based on John Wesley’s liturgy, first used in 1755.  It is a particularly meaningful service to those attending as it is about recommitment and discipleship.  At its heart is the two-way relationship between God and His people.  In Leviticus 2612 God speaks of His covenant, His promise, to His people:

I will walk among you; I will be your God and you will be my people.

The Covenant Service is about God’s people making their promises to God in response.  

Read John 15 1-10

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you , will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

In this passage, which forms part of the Covenant Service, Jesus speaks of this two-way relationship and of the importance of remaining connected with Him: ‘the true grapevine’, so that we may grow and be fruitful.  Those of us who grow roses know of the importance of cutting them down hard in the winter to ensure that we have a healthy plant the next year with beautiful, abundant flowers.  In the same way, by remaining close to Jesus and surrendering all we are and have to Him, we allow God to ‘prune’ anything which is unhelpful or hindering our relationship with Him, allowing us to grow to be the people he created us to be.

A significant moment in the Covenant Service is the Covenant Prayer, which some of you may be familiar with.  Its words are a challenge to say and truly mean, but are a good way to surrender and recommit yourself to God at the start of this new year. You are invited to pray this pray and reflect on what God might be saying to you as you give yourself afresh to him today:

I am no longer my own but yours.

Your will, not mine, be done in all things, 

wherever you may place me, 

in all that I do

and in all that I may endure; 

when there is work for me

and when there is none; 

when I am troubled

and when I am at peace.

Your will be done 

when I am valued

and when I am disregarded; 

when I find fulfilment

and when it is lacking; 

when I have all things,

and when I have nothing.

I willingly offer

all I have and am 

to serve you,

as and where you choose.

Glorious and blessèd God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 

you are mine and I am yours. 

May it be so forever.

Let this covenant now made on earth 

be fulfilled in heaven.  Amen.

If you wish, finish by listening to the song All To Jesus sung by Robin Mark: 

Pray & Worship Together at CBC

Saturday 6th January – Intergenerational Prayer Breakfast 8:30am 

Sunday 7th January – Prayer 1st  7pm 

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