Today’s Scripture Reading
12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Congratulations; you made it to the final day of the challenge! I'm thrilled for you to have made your way through the Wesley Covenant Prayer. Take a moment to say aloud, "Amen!" "Amen" means, "Yes, indeed!" or "Surely ... in very truth!" To say, "Amen," in the Wesley prayer is essentially to say that you confirm that what has been said is indeed the desire of your heart and that you will strive to make it true. You have the ability to make it so through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let's take this final day to summarize where we've been as we have navigated this challenge. First, we discussed various aspects of the prayer related to surrender and suffering. I believe God's will is for the world to be made whole. God's way of making the world whole is through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. To faithfully participate with God in God's mission to restore the world toward its intended wholeness, we imitate the life and ministry of Jesus, is to surrender. When we surrender, we let go of the often deep-seated desires to control our own lives and, instead, give way to God's intentions for our lives and for the world.
Giving way is not giving up. Giving way is the intentional decision we make every day to lay aside our own will and take on God's will. To give up is simply to quit. Obviously, Wesley does not intend for Christians to quit. Wesley intends for Christians to seek first God's will by becoming completely devoted to God's mission.
To suffer is to open ourselves to God's will, even if it means it costs us something and causes us to experience difficulties and discomfort. Deeply committed disciples know that when we surrender to God's will, we open the door to the possibility of suffering. Disciples of Jesus choose to proceed with participating in God's mission, especially for the benefit of others, even though suffering might be inevitable and necessary.
Second, we discussed how the second part of the prayer might mean that we are honored or made humble. Participating with God's mission might very well mean that we are admired for our ministry in some way or we might even be made to feel small or insignificant. Deeply committed disciples of Jesus are fully aware that faithful participation might mean appreciation and approval, or it might mean that our ministry is seen as inconsequential. However, committed disciples choose to faithfully participate in God's mission anyway.
Lastly, we discussed community and commitment. Essentially, community is fellowship and friendship. Fellowship and friendship are formed because of the similar values, beliefs, and interests we share with one another. The result of connecting with others who share our values, beliefs, and interests, regardless of the size of the group, produces a desire to share life together. Commitment is an anticipated outcome of a community that cares for and is attentive to the needs of others within the group. Loyalty, devotion, and ultimately, love, are the benefits of a healthy community. We are faithful to those with whom we share a common purpose, and it can be understood that our level of commitment is directly tied to the fellowship and friendship of the community we experience. Together, in community, we commit to who matters and we commit to what matters. “Amen!”
Will I continue to live out the principles and precepts of this prayer? How?
How will I stay in tune with the Holy Spirit?
God, grant us the ability to live out this prayer every day of our lives. May we honor you, O God, as we seek to humbly represent you on this earth. As we surrender, even to the point of suffering, we pray that your name would be known and made great. Remind us daily, O God, of the relationship you long to have with all your children of the earth. Find us faithful in our daily commitment, we pray. Amen.
ENDORSE AND ENCOURAGE
Give this book to a friend or another group, so they might also share in the joy of living a life in alignment with the Wesley Covenant Prayer. Take this challenge to another level by committing to lead a person or group through this book.
The Wesley Prayer Challenge book is available from these book sellers: