Category Archives: Mark

John Wesley's Covenant Prayer

The moment you want to be great or outshine others, you stop following the Jesus model

A Covenant Prayer
“Rank Me with Whom You Will” – Part II

Scripture Reading: Mark 10:35-45

Key Verses: Mark 10:43-44
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all”.

The story in today’s Scripture Reading is both surprising and encouraging.

James and John, who both ended up as great leaders in the early church, asked Jesus for something that showed how self-focused they were in the early days of following Jesus. This was their request:

“…Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” (Mark 10:37)

This kind of ambition did not fit into what Jesus wanted His followers to be like. Followers of Jesus who want to be “great” or “most important” must be servants who are willing to give up being “first” and live a servant lifestyle.

The challenge for us who follow Jesus is finding a balance between wanting to be all that God wants us to be and working hard to be our best.

In other words, can Christ-followers have “Godly ambition”? The answer is “yes” but we must examine ambition regularly in our lives, especially if we are finding success in our work. The more success we have in life, the greater temptation there is to slip over to ungodly ambition.

The definition of the word “ambition” is: “a strong desire to do and to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work”. This definition could fit a very godly Christ-follower, and that would please the Lord.

However, if ambition includes words like “great” or “outshine” others, it becomes ungodly and is far from pleasing the Lord. The moment we want to be “great” or “outshine” others around us, our motivation is to be first and we desire others to serve us.

You form a covenant with God when you pray the second part of John Wesley’s “Covenant Prayer”: “Rank me with whom you will”. This prayer allows God to rank us as He sees best among our peers in our lives.

Do not forget Jesus’s warning:

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Father, forgive me when I rank myself above other people. Help me quickly change that attitude and become a servant to those around me. In Jesus’s Name, amen.