Preparation for Communion

We lose much when we come to communion thoughtlessly and unprepared. Not only is our action irreverent, it also keeps us from sharing the ‘blessings of God’s grace’ – his generous action in us to bring about the fulness of the new life Jesus intends. (John 10.10)

“There is less and less time where people go into a solitary place to pray. And I am sure that we are more prayerless than we have been in the past, and that says our spiritual health is in freefall.”

Tim Keller

Below are some suggested prayers for private preparation as we approach the May Communion service. This time, in preparation for Communion, we are seeking to maintain conscious connection with God throughout each day, using excerpts from the Psalms.

sunset at Ballyholme unbroken fence
Going asleep

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4 ESV

Morning

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to enquire in his temple.

Psalm 27 ESV

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5 NIV

Mid-day

May the favour and beauty of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us –
yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90 NIV

Evening

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

and with him is great power to redeem.

Psalm 130 NRSV

Some will have time to pray the selected Psalms in full, but these excerpts are offered so that even amid the busiest working day they can be used.

The Psalms and Praying

Jesus used them.
  • On the cross he used a Psalm to cry out to his Father. (Matthew 27:46/Psalm 22:1)
  • Commentators have noted how the sections of the Lord’s prayer echo the types of prayers found in the Psalms.
They come highly recommended:
  • “whatever may serve to encourage us when we are about to pray to God is taught us in this book” (John Calvin)
  • “the prayerbook of the Bible” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
  • “We only pray well if we are immersed In Scripture” (Eugene Petersen)

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Tips for the Distracted and Time-Pressed

  • Set the password on your work computer to something that will remind you, as you type it in each day, of God’s presence with you.
  • Copy these prayers, paste them into your phone calendar and set alarms to beep in the morning, in your lunch break and so on…

This link will take you to other things that may help you to engage with God alone.

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