Following the lead of the Moravian Brethren who began having “watch” services in 1733, John Wesley, created watch night services, sometimes calling them Covenant Renewal Services. They would typically happen on New Year’s Eve to give people an opportunity to look back over the past year, confessing their sins, remembering God’s blessings and renewing their commitment to Christ for the new year. Typical services often included prayer, scripture, song, proclamation, and sometimes a Moravian Love Feast, but always included a time of personal covenant. The Wesley Covenant Prayer is a practical description of what Jesus was talking about when he said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
“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.”
- Wikipedia and http://www.umc.org were used for this post. For more info, as well as a contemporary version of the Wesley Covenant Prayer look at wikipedia.