Yesterday during communion—I had shared an excerpt of a prayer “The Lord’s Supper”—from a little black book known as The Valley of Vision. Below is that prayer in its entirety:1
God of all good,
I bless Thee for the means of grace;
teach me to see in them Thy loving purposes
and the joy and strength of my soul.
Thou hast prepared for me a feast;
and though I am unworthy to sit down as guest,
I wholly rest on the merits of Jesus,
and hide myself beneath His righteousness;
When I hear His tender invitation
and see His wondrous grace,
I cannot hesitate, but must come to Thee in love.
By Thy spirit enliven my faith rightly to discern
and spiritually to apprehend the Saviour.
While I gaze upon the emblems of my Saviour’s death,
may I ponder why He died, and hear Him say,
‘I gave My life to purchase yours,
presented Myself an offering to expiate your sin,
shed My blood to blot out your guilt,
opened My side to make you clean,
endured your curses to set you free,
bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice.’
Oh may I rightly grasp the breadth and length of this design,
draw near, obey, extend the hand,
take the bread, receive the cup,
eat and drink, testify before all men
that I do for myself, gladly, in faith,
reverence and love, receive my Lord,
to be my life, strength, nourishment, joy, delight.
In the supper I remember His eternal love,
boundless grace, infinite compassion,
agony, cross, redemption,
and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory.
As the outward elements nourish my body,
so may Thy indwelling Spirit invigorate my soul,
until that day when I hunger and thirst no more,
and sit with Jesus at His heavenly feast.
Communion is both a time of remembrance and proclamation for the believer. 1 Corinthians 11:26 tells us that “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
When a church is obedient to the ordinance of communion, it is making time for each man to “examine himself” (v. 28). It’s as if the Spirit of God catches us by the collar to make us sit down and look again at the Word of God; and then to proclaim to a watching world what we would be like without it. There’s no wriggling away from our own depravity.
Perhaps that is why I look forward to participating in communion each month. I know many of my weaknesses. I have become a student of my own sins. And so, I confess, I need to regularly remember His eternal love.