A Good Prayer for a New Year

Wesley I'm Not my Own

I was raised in the Free Methodist Church. In that tradition, congregations have historically gathered on New Year’s Eve for a covenant renewal service. They follow a liturgy designed by John Wesley that leads the church through remembrance of God’s grace, confession of sin, and consecration to God’s purposes.

There is one prayer in that service that really grabs my attention. This prayer helps me to express my desire to “offer my body as a living sacrifice to God” as I reflect on all his mercy toward me (Rom. 12:1). I think it is a great prayer for the new year.

Here is a paraphrase of the prayer:

“Lord, I am not my own. I am yours alone. Make me into the person you want me to be. Place me among the people you want me to be with. Put me to use for you. Put me to suffering for you. Let me be employed for you. Or, if you prefer, set me aside and work through someone else. Let me be lifted high for you. Let me be brought low for you. Let me be full or let me be empty. Let me have all things or let me have nothing. With a willing heart, I freely give everything to your pleasure and disposal.”

What would it look like for us to enter 2023 with this prayer on our lips and in our hearts?