Taking Communion – The Lord’s Supper
The Last Supper
14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
This was the last supper that Jesus had with His disciples before He was crucified. We call this communion. We take communion because He said we should do this in remembrance of Him.
Important points about taking Communion.
1. It is meant to be taken by disciples of Christ. Only by those who are followers of Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you should not be taking communion and can learn more about receiving Christ as your Savior here.
2. Communion is to be taken to remember Christ. The bread represents His body and the wine represents His blood. It was only through the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross that we have a connection with God the Father and have access to heaven. So, Jesus had to shed His blood for us to be a part of the new covenant.
3. You should never approach the communion table flippantly. Of all the things that I believe breaks the Lord’s heart it’s when we don’t understand the holiness of taking communion and we don’t take it seriously. Put yourself in the story, Jesus is about to go to the cross. He is about to suffer and die for your sins. Not His sins, yours! He did it for you. He says “before I go I want to sit and take this meal with you. The bread is My body which is about to be broken for you. The wine is My blood which I am about to shed for you. Whenever you come together to do this in the future, remember Me”
How can you ever approach this flippantly? This is a serious thing. It is a holy moment. It is the commemoration of why you have access to the throne room of God, it’s why you have access to heaven. You should approach this with Reverence, Holiness and Awe of God. How you take communion shows the world how YOU remember God. It says something about you. How you honor, value and respect what the Lord did for you. Your heart and your mind should be fully focused on Him in that moment.
***Rant Alert**** I’ve been to churches and seen communion administered where there is no explanation as to what it is and why it is being done. Large churches. The pastor ends his sermon, and quickly ushers the people out so they can prepare for the next service. They make the people line up at the end of the service and give them the communion as they are walking out the door. No explanation, no repentance, no reverence…they take it, eating as they walk out the front door to go have brunch. No body is stopping to pray and reflect as they walk out the door. Like it’s a Taco Stand! This is not right. If this is how your church does it, make sure you take that communion find yourself a seat or a corner stop and do it right. Or, if they give you the little cups take it to your home and do it when you have time to focus. ***end of rant***
4. Repentance is a must before taking communion. If you don’t repent you’re calling God’s judgement upon yourself. You basically put yourself under a curse. I’m sure many Christians didn’t even know this.
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Conduct at the Lord’s Supper
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
So picture it like this, they came together to commune with other believers and take communion. Instead of eating before they got there they came hungry and basically ate everything even what should’ve been saved for communion. They were eating the communion like it was a meal. They drank the communion wine until they got drunk. And in doing so, didn’t even look out for their brothers and sisters so, some were not able to partake. Please don’t miss that some of them didn’t repent prior to taking the communion and called judgement upon themselves, the curse of sickness and in some cases death. This is serious.
In church when we talk and text while the pastor is preaching we are disrespecting the pastor, but when we take communion flippantly? Without examining ourselves? We are disrespecting Christ Himself and what He did on the cross for us! This is not a joke. That’s why unbelievers shouldn’t be administered communion because they don’t understand what Christ did.
5. What should you use as communion elements? The bible had bread and wine. A lot of Christians don’t drink wine so they substitute that with grape juice. You want to stick as closely as possible to what the bible says. If you can’t afford to buy the bread and juice, then use what you have. If it’s water and a piece of crackers, or a leaf! Bring your best. God knows your heart and that you couldn’t afford anything else so that will do. Whatever it is that you are using, it should be something that you have set aside for the purpose of taking communion. It’s not acceptable for you to be using peanuts and sweat tea when you can go buy the proper elements. Again, this is about reverence and respect to the Lord.
If you can afford it, Amazon sells communion wafers with juice in individual cups. You can keep these at your house so whenever you need it you are prepared. They are also good if you travel to someone’s house to minister to them, you have the communion with you. I know others who keep Matzo and Manischewitz on hand just for communion.
Benefits of Taking Communion
- To remember Christ. What’s more glorious than having 5 – 20 minutes when you are just focusing on no one and nothing else but Jesus Christ and what He did for you?
- Mental Clarity. Because you are focusing on Christ everything become clear in a moment.
- Repentance. Perhaps you haven’t been repenting as often as you should. Well, in this moment, when done correctly, you clear the slate with God and your sins. Therefore, all blockades to your prayers being answered are removed. (Psalm 66:18-20)
- You are instantly transported into the Presence of God. Wow! Whenever I am trying to focus on God in prayer, and my mind keeps wandering elsewhere, one of the things I can do that stops my mind from going all over the place is take communion. It instantly shuts down my wandering thoughts and takes me into God’s presence. Because of the focus being used to properly administer the communion you won’t be able to think about anything else.
- Peace (Isaiah 26:3) Because you took some time to focus on the Lord, you will feel completely peaceful after you take communion.
- It can be used to appropriate healing and deliverance in your life for areas that are not in alignment with the finished work on the cross. What I mean by that is, in reflecting on what Christ did on the cross we know that the word says “By His stripes we are healed”…”the chastisement of our peace was upon Him” . If you are experiencing any kind of sickness or illness in your body, any stressors that is stealing your peace, you can immediately speak that scripture over your life bringing the issue into alignment with the finished work of the cross. Anything that is not in alignment with the finished work on the cross can be prayed into for healing and deliverance. That would include, but is not limited to, mental health, emotional health, physical health, financial health, relational health. Anything that needs healing! Because in that moment of communion you are aware that Christ is present with you, then you ask for the healing of what is broken, you will receive the healing and deliverance in this area. This is why taking communion is POWERFUL when you are experiencing any kind or health issue.
How often should you take it?
Anytime you feel you need it. I just shared above that if I can’t focus in prayer this is what I do. Every single believer should have communion elements at their home so that it is available whenever it is needed.
With what is happening in our world today, I would highly recommend you get the elements because you’re probably going to need it.
Who can administer the communion?
You know, growing up going to the Catholic Church it seems like the only person holy enough to do it was the priest. I remember being so nervous to walk up and receive it because of how they reverenced and handled the elements. Then when I became a born again believer in a Presbyterian church, I also felt the same sentiments…this should only be done by an ordained pastor.
The truth is, having read the scriptures I became aware that Jesus was talking to His disciples when He said “do this in Remembrance of Me”. I also became aware that the admonishment of Paul to the Corinthians was to those who were believers in Christ – regular lay person, like you and me. Therefore, anyone who is a believer in Christ can administer the communion. It is a something else when you start reading the scriptures for yourself and can set your “religious soul” free!
The prayer for communion
I really don’t want to write a blanket prayer because it is very different for each person. Someone who is a new Christian will focus primarily on what Christ did in saving them. This is perfect! If you have been saved for a long time you will focus on this too but then you move into appropriating the finished work on the cross into the area of your life that needs it.
I need to caution you here, remember that communion is about Remembering Him so please do not turn it into a prayer about you. While it is ok to pray about the things that are not in alignment that shouldn’t be the majority of your time in communion. The main purpose is to focus on Him and not yourself. Don’t make this about you.
So the communion prayer should be
- Focus on Christ and what He did on the cross to save you
- Thank Him for that
- Thank Him for your Salvation
- Think about what the bread means to you. Thank Him for it.
- Think about what the wine means to you. Thank Him for it.
- Appropriate whatever is not in alignment in your life. Thank Him for it.
That’s it! I gave you the components of the prayer, now you can write your own.
After you write a prayer, can you share it below with us? I would love to see it. Is there anything else you do in communion that wasn’t mentioned in this post? Please share it.
Here is a post about Anointing Oil, how to use it and how to pray over it. If you haven’t accepted Christ as your Savior and would like to do so, please watch this video.