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July 31, 2015

The Lord's very sweet blessings are upon us.

I wanted to share with you an outline for a very simple communion service and then I'm going do another short video that will just be the communion service. But I wanted to go through the different steps with you first. All of these prayers are taken from the Scriptures, all of them Psalms or the Gospels. I'm going to have a PDF of the full service, so you needn't worry about remembering it.

When you go to have a communion service, really the purpose is to bless the bread and the wine, and to set it aside so that you can receive from it. And you can save it aside for a week or a few days. Or you can have the blessing in a communion service every day - which is, of course, preferred.

I just want to mention to you that this is not a replacement for the Catholic Mass, the Orthodox, or Episcopal Liturgy, if that happens to be your faith. It is simply a form of communion for use at home or during a time of extreme persecution when other options are not available.

The Lord has promised that if you confess with your mouth and believe sincerely with your heart, He will indeed visit you in a very special way through a simple home-spun service. It is totally up to Him as to how He wants to manifest. But, we should honor Him by treating our communion elements with total reverence and respect. Please do not throw leftovers to the birds or in the garbage. Dissolve them with water and put them in a respectful place where they will not be trampled under foot.

There are seven very short parts to this service. And you can add or subtract anything you want to, but this is the way that I've laid it out:

Worship - that could be a song or a whole time of worship.

Thanksgiving - thanking the Lord for Who He is and what He's given us.

Confession - bringing our sins before Him.

A Word From Scripture - a word from the Scripture. And here I prefer a rhema reading, that is going to a holy book: the Scriptures or a collection of Scriptures under headings. Praying and openly randomly and allowing Holy Spirit to pick the reading for the day. And then confessing that word out loud, tucking it away in your heart and repeating it several times a day. So, that's a word from Scripture.

The Blessing - the blessing of the bread and wine.

Receiving Communion

And after receiving communion,

Resting in the Lord

So, those are the seven steps that I've outlined in this communion service. As I said, you can do whatever you want, this is just a rough outline for you to follow if you like.

The first thing I like to do is

have a worship song or two before your prayers , coming into the Lord's presence with worship and thanksgiving.

And then a very simple prayer:

"Lord, I thank and praise You for all You have done for me, all You have given and that You will never, ever forsake me. I confess I have sinned against You and my brother."

At this point, pause and take time to go through your heart and look at the things you've failed the Lord in, and bring them before Him. After you've thought about your sins, and you've reflected on it and repented, then pray:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; forgive me and, cleanse me from my sins. Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Grant a willing spirit, to sustain me. Taken from Psalm 51.

Then it's good to have a word to meditate on. I like to say a simple prayer:

"Your Word is a light unto my feet, guide me in Your ways, oh Lord."

Open randomly to a rhema reading, preferably something like the Bible Promises, because it's a collection of readings. Or your Bible. Meditate on that, repeat it out loud. For instance, and remember to confess this word all day, "Behold, I will pour out My Spirit upon You and make My Words known to You." Just take that and meditate upon it, and keep it in your heart and mind, even write it down on a card and place it someplace visible to remind you during the day of the Lord's promise to you.

After you've meditated on the Word, just make a simple declaration of the holiness of the Lord: "Holy are You, Lord. Full of power and might. The Heaven's declare Your Glory! and As the deer pants for Living Water, so my soul longs for You, O my God."

You have the bread and the wine set aside, and you say the blessing over them. The Lord wanted you to do your own, but this is just a simple formula to follow if you can't think of anything else:

"On the night before You died, You had supper with Your apostles, You took bread from the table, lifted it up to the Father and gave thanks and praise. You broke the bread (break the bread) and gave it to Your apostles saying, "Take this, all of you , and eat it: This is My Body which will be given up for you." (set it aside)

Next, take the cup and say, "Then, You took the cup, lifted it up to the Father and gave thanks, saying: take this all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of My Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of Me." (set the cup aside)

Before you receive communion recite this prayer:

"Lord I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but only say the word and I will be healed." and that's the prayer of the Centurion. After you receive the Body and Blood, just say a quick prayer: "May your Body and Blood give me the strength to live for You until You Come for us in glory."

Spend time with the Lord after communion. It's not the least bit uncommon to actually see and hear the Lord after you receive communion, so don't be surprised if your spiritual eyes and ears are a lot more open than normal, because that is a very consistent, consequence of receiving communion.

Then, respectfully clean the cup and plate - even little crumbs, in a bowl of water, then pour the water on a plant or a place where it will not be walked on.

If you want to save the remaining communion bread & wine that has been prayed over, so you can receive it again: remember the Lord promised He would be present to you in a very special way, so treat the wine and bread with special reverence. Put it in a special container in a respectful place so you can receive from it tomorrow without saying all the prayers again, just making a confession of sin and saying that short prayer: "Lord I am not worthy..."

And that's really it - a very simple little ceremony, very intimate and simple. That's just a bare outline, bare bones outline. You can add or subtract anything you want to. But I knew that you'd be kind of lost for some form for communion service, so that's why I just picked out Scriptures from the Bible and from the experience that we've had going to different communion services and the service at St. James that was written in the middle of the first century roughly follows this outline. It's far more formal and longer.

You might include prayers at some point in this, prayers for other people. Or you may receive it separately. It's up to you. Interceding - mentioning different prayers for people, you can fit that in here. Or you can do that separately after your little communion service.

The Lord bless you and I pray that you'll really enjoy this short little service and add your own prayers and Scriptures to it, or subtract whatever... whatever makes you feel really comfortable with it. Make it your own, as the Lord asked you to do.

In all things, I believe we should always be guided by our own conscience, that we're not under obligation to any man, but only to the Lord our God.

May the Lord always bless and guide you.