If the Lord tarries, we intend, next Sunday to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. The Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, is one of the chief means appointed by God whereby we may encounter Jesus. You are reminded therefore of the importance of actually taking time to prepare to meet with him at the table.
Many Christians find that prayerfully reading and reflecting on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.1-17) or even the church covenant is a good starting place for preparation.
As you read, examine your conscience before God. Ask yourself “how have I measured up to this in the last month?” Such examination can help you become aware of particular sins in your life, areas in which Jesus has not been fully in control.
Take these to God in prayer, confess them and repent of them (repentance means being sorry for having offended God and turning around in the opposite direction from sin).
In addition to examining conscience, another helpful exercise can be praying each day of the week before receiving the bread and wine, for God’s help and grace to receive in a worthy manner. Here are some suggested prayers for the coming week, which you may choose to use:
- Monday – Lord Jesus, prepare me to meet you in the bread and wine this Sunday, with open arms, and a loving heart, so that I may be filled with your grace, for my good and for your glory. Amen.
- Tuesday – Loving God, in your Bible, you describe yourself as a mother comforting a child, a woman who could never forget her child. I need your comforting love to get through life. When I come to your table, this Sunday, let me find you there, through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
- Wednesday – Loving Jesus, I hope to come to the table of your feast this Sunday. I come presuming nothing on my own merits, but trusting in your mercy and goodness alone. Take away from me, all my sins, drive away all sinful desires and thoughts, that I may receive the bread and wine in a worthy way. Amen.
- Thursday – Almighty Father, I pray for all my sisters and brothers at First Baptist, that in receiving Holy Communion this coming Sunday, our unity and love for one another may be deepened and strengthened. If I have offended any, bring this to my memory, and give me the grace both to ask for and receive forgiveness. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Friday – Lord Jesus, you said that it was the sick, not the well, who needed a doctor. I am one of the sick, and I need you, for you are not only the great physician, but you are the medicine of salvation, which heals the sickness of sin. In your mercy, pour yourself into my life this Sunday when I receive the bread and wine of your table. Amen.
- Saturday – Father, when I receive the bread and cup tomorrow, grant me grace to offer myself, wholly and completely, body, soul and mind to you, as a living sacrifice. I ask this for myself and all those who will receive tomorrow, in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
- Sunday – In the name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I begin this day and this new week. Father, thank you for having kept me safe during the night. May all that I do, say and think this day and this week be pleasing to you and in accordance with your will. Prepare me for worship with my brothers and sisters this morning. Thank you for our ministers, the ushers, AV workers, Sunday school teachers, choir, organist, pianist,for those who have prepared the bread and wine and those who will serve these. Anoint, guard and enable the pastor who will preach today so that it is you we will hear through him. In the Word read, preached and celebrated, grant that we may meet with your Son, Jesus. It is in his strong name I pray. Amen.