Covenant of Faith
Have you ever made a deal with someone, a contract of sorts? An example could be going to the bank and asking for a loan in order to pay for a large expense, agreeing to pay it back in portions. We all make deals, sign contracts, make tying bonds to one another. For spouses, it's a wedding contract, vowing to sacrifice themselves for their spouse and grow in love and spiritual faith with them. We have a similar contract with God, though it is not as much of a 'contract' but a covenant.
In the first reading it states:'Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations' (Genesis 13:3-9). God forms this covenant with Abraham, because of his faith and dedication. How then are we also included in this covenant?
In this binding deal, God transforms Abraham in his faith, first shown through changing his name. He then tells Abraham that he will be a leader, above many nations and will share his faith from generations onward. This is very similar to our covenant we make with God in Baptism, then again at First Communion and Confirmation. In Baptism, we are renewed, cleansed of sin, reborn in faith, which is signified by our Baptismal name. Abram's name became Abraham as his life became renewed by this covenant. We are called to be leaders in faith, and inspire others to share in our belief, as Abraham did when becoming a father in faith. Let us then reflect on what it means to be people of faith, and remember our promises made in Baptism and every week through speaking the Nicene Creed, reaffirming our covenant with God.
Today's prayer comes from 'Prayer Promises' the Covenant prayer:
Lord God Almighty, worthy of all praise and honor, Holy is Your name! Lord, I pray for spiritual growth and maturity; I want all of You, and none of my flesh. I ask for the mind of Christ, the emotions of Christ, and the will of Christ in my life. Lord, help me become a humble, hard working servant, who bares Your fruit; a disciple with great faith, a wise and encouraging tongue, and one in whom You can trust. Lord, I offer my body as a living sacrifice to you. I offer the members of my body as instruments of righteousness. I give You everything I have, and everything I am, may my love for You only grow stronger. I ask for complete and total union with Christ. I empty myself out before you and deny myself. Holy Spirit, I ask you to apply the cross to my flesh nature. Jesus, I follow you. Please set my course. Make me a pathway for You. Lord, encourage and motivate me, so that I may continually serve you with a passion, and please teach me to listen to the Holy Spirit, so that I may always know Your will. Lord, please help me overcome temptation, and don’t let the devil have any foothold in me. I renounce the world and all of its evil matters and concerns. Lord, break every stronghold in me, so that Your Holy Spirit may totally dominate my life. Baptize me with your Holy Spirit and with fire. Burn away all that will not pass through the fire as purely from You. I ask that the life of Jesus would flow through me unhindered without one single hindrance. Lord, judge me severely, correct me ruthlessly, and rebuke me thoroughly, so I can serve you more perfectly, being void of all hypocrisy, meek and lowly of heart. Lord, please instill in me an awesome and intense fear of the Lord, expose me & cleanse me. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to take my white garment and cleanse it, removing all the filthy stains, and press it, removing all wrinkles. Make me clean inside and outside. Keep me away from pride, foolishness and self-centeredness. Help me, so that I may be ready and that I may stand before Jesus when He comes. Lord, help me become a great Harvester, sowing Your seed and bringing many people to You. Lord, here I am, use me. I want to advance Your Kingdom and serve You everyday, open many doors of opportunity to shine the Light of Jesus through me, and put several people in my path, so that I may bring them to You. Lord, help me do something profound for You everyday, and to have an impact on eternity. Lord, I want to master Your Word. Please, fill me with Your knowledge and truth, bless me with wisdom, and remove any falsehoods in me. Lord, help me become a mighty prayer warrior, one who can move mountains in Your name, teach me to use all the gifts You have blessed me with, and not miss any given opportunity. Lord, teach me how to bring down all the principalities and powers that work against Your Kingdom. Lord, I pray for a long life of service to You, with health and blessings for my family, help me develop a disciplined mind, a crucified flesh, and a loving compassionate heart. Lord, set my sights on the highest goal, and have me do whatever is necessary to achieve the greatest blessing of the good and faithful servant, and to finish strong in the Lord. Lord, help me fully experience the Christian life, and to manifest Jesus in every aspect of my life. Lord, help me become a true worshiper of You. Fill my cup with Your tears, that I may love those whom You Love, and understand Your heart and passion. Most Holy and Righteous God, thank You for everything You have done. I surrender my life to You, please direct me and make me into Your image, for I am nothing without You. May my life bring glory and honor to You. Please send out many more workers into the harvest field, in the name of Your son, JESUS CHRIST AMEN