Join us on our new podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
When God first established His covenant with us, He also became our great provider. His provision extended to our spiritual, financial, emotional and physical needs—even physical healing. The covenant of healing may be manifested through several different methods of healing described in the Bible, including laying hands on the sick, anointing the sick with oil, and so on. One of the most important methods is receiving Communion.
Many believers have never heard about the link between the Communion meal and healing, but it is time for us to acknowledge the potential power of the Lord’s Supper. After all, the Lord’s Supper is part of the covenant of healing.
However, I don’t think we should approach receiving the Communion meal, which represents the body and blood of Christ, in a haphazard manner. I believe we should follow an important four-part process beforehand and then partake of the meal in seven steps. Here’s what I recommend:
Part 1: Look Inward. Before receiving Communion, believers should examine their own hearts and spirits. This inward self-scrutiny is to ensure that we have no hidden or known sin in our lives. The Bible says, “But let a man examine himself” (1 Cor. 11:28, NKJV).
Doing a self-examination is like placing an MRI or a spiritual X-ray into your mind and spirit. After all, it is what comes out of our mouths (from our hearts) that defiles us (see Mark 7:18-23). If your heart senses a feeling of guilt, then immediately repent and ask God for forgiveness and cleansing. This action will keep you humble before God as well as pure in mind and spirit. As a result, you will live a healthier and fuller life.
Part 2: Look Outward. After looking inward, then look outward. Has strife, misunderstanding or disagreement created a rift between you and a family member, friend or fellow believer? Discern your relationships with others around you. Life is not perfect, and at times people will disagree.
The Bible teaches that if we have something against a fellow believer, our gift, or “offering,” will not be blessed until we first go to our brother or sister in Christ and make amends: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24).
Part 3: Look Upward. As we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we should meditate on the finished redemptive work of Christ, recognizing that He suffered on our behalf and that through His death and resurrection we can be made whole in our spirit, soul and body. As we look upward to our High Priest, Jesus Christ, we should meditate on the goodness of God and His mercy toward us.
Part 4: Look Onward. Live every day with the expectation that you will fulfill your God-given assignments and live out all your days. Seize the promise of Psalm 91:16: “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”
One of the great faith ministers was Smith Wigglesworth. Before his ministry began, he was healed and later emphasized the healing gifts during his long ministry. He also received the revelation of taking daily Communion.
He lived to be 87 and passed away quietly while in a church service. That is the way to go! Live out your assigned days and when you are ready to go, fall asleep and wake up in heaven!
Guidelines for Taking Communion
Before you begin the Communion service, it’s important to consider the actual procedure for it. This includes giving thought to the guidelines that follow, which include where and when you will take Communion, what products you will use, a prayer and more.
1. Choose the location. The location may be anywhere in your home where you can spend a few moments of quality time with the Lord. I have a home office, and at other times I receive Communion at a small table in our kitchen area. It is important to have both an atmosphere and a time that affords you the least amount of noise or distraction. After all, you are approaching the High Priest in His heavenly temple.
2. Purchase the bread. I suggest you purchase a box of Jewish Passover bread, called matzo, from a local store. If this is not possible, then use unsalted crackers, preferably without leaven. If you don’t have unsalted, unleavened crackers, then use whatever bread is available. Remember that once the bread is blessed, God recognizes what you are doing.
3. Select the fruit of the vine. I personally believe it is best to use pure grape juice. This can be purchased in any local grocery store. Many people prefer the red grape juice as a picture of the blood of Christ. It is when the juice is blessed that it becomes more than simply grape juice.
4. Find a special cup. Though any cup can be used, I prefer a special silver-cup set just for the Communion meal. Silver cups can be purchased at various stores. Keep the cup in a special place and use it only for the Communion meal. Jewish sources can provide these cups for purchase.
5. Determine the time to receive. In the time of the tabernacle and temples, a lamb was offered in the morning and in the evening (see Ex. 29:38-39). These were called the morning and evening sacrifices. Morning is typically when a person begins the activities or the work of the day, while evening is when he or she prepares to rest at night. The altar of the Lord had lamb’s blood sprinkled in the morning and in the evening. What we entertain on our mind the first thing in the morning often sets the pattern for the entire day.
6. Recite a prayer. Following is an example of a prayer for Communion. As you grow in the grace of God, pray a simple prayer from your heart.
“Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind. I thank You that, through Christ’s sufferings, He purchased a threefold redemption for my spirit, mind and body. Today I ask You to bless this bread that represents the body of Christ. Bless the fruit of the vine that represents His precious blood.
“Father, as You have forgiven me, so I forgive those who have sinned against me. Lord, I forgive and release anyone who has wronged me, and I ask You to search my spirit and remove any trace of sin or disobedience from my life. Today, I release from my mental prison anyone who has hurt me in any way, and I ask You to bless him and help him spiritually.
“Father, as I receive this Communion, I ask You to bring strength and health to me spiritually, emotionally and physically because of the new covenant that was sealed through the sufferings of Christ. Jesus carried my infirmities; therefore, I ask You to lift from me what Jesus has carried for me. I receive it by faith, and I give You all the glory and honor, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
If you are receiving Communion first thing in the morning, clear your mind and heart of all distractions and fully concentrate on the wonderful graces of God. Pour the fruit of the vine into the cup, take a piece of bread in your hand, and, with your own words of prayer, bless the bread and the cup. Thank God for sending Christ to redeem you.
If you are in need of healing, quote the promise, “With the stripes of Jesus I am healed” (see 1 Pet. 2:24). In prayer, tell the Lord that you believe the blood of Christ was shed for your atonement, including your physical healing.
Remember that this is not a magical formula but a sacred moment between you and your heavenly Father. If a person does not receive Communion every day, he should do so at least once a week. But do not allow this act to become a religious ritual devoid of meaning.
7. Conclude with worship. It is good to spend a few moments in worship after receiving Communion. Perhaps you would enjoy singing a song to the Lord. The Bible tells us that, after the Last Supper, Christ and the disciples sang a hymn:
“ ‘But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’ And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matt. 26:29-30).
Because this was the Passover season, Christ would have sung hymns from the Psalms, such as, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).
To sing from your heart to the Lord, you do not need musical accompaniment or the church choir. Paul wrote: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:18-19).
This simple process can become a part of your daily life’s routine, and it can create an important window of time for you to spend with the Lord. Daily Communion can be a great physical, mental and spiritual blessing to you.
The Final Key: Faith
After many years of full-time ministry, I have discovered an important key to receiving from the Lord. All truth must be processed through the intellect, where we reason and weigh the evidence that we receive: “ ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (Is. 1:18).
For spiritual truth to impact your life, it must be quickened to your inner spirit. The word “quickened” means “to make alive.” There are times when you hear a message from God’s Word and you are intellectually motivated. At other times, you are uplifted and blessed.
There are occasions when the Word of God pierces your soul like a sword and discerns your thoughts and the intents of your heart (see Heb. 4:12). Then there are those times when the message you are hearing or the book you are reading seems to come alive in your spirit.
You know when this happens because the information becomes revelation as the eyes of your understanding are opened (see Eph. 1:18). The truth seems to jump from the pages, and suddenly you can sense inwardly a strong witness that God will move on your behalf.
The spiritual truth you have read must become more than a book in your hands for this message to impact your life. It must quicken your heart and spirit.
When the Word of God moves from intellectual reasoning to a quickened, living word in your spirit, then faith will enter your spirit. You are able to believe what God has spoken and respond to His Word in faith.
This has personally happened to me on several occasions. I recall praying for several months for direction in my ministry. During a special service in Ohio, the Holy Spirit quickened my spirit to act on my faith and, as I responded in obedience, the Lord would meet the needs of our ministry. I acted in faith, and He met the needs.
Therefore, believe as you receive Communion that the life of Christ is working in your body, driving out every sickness, disease and weakness that is hindering your life. Receive Communion in a spirit of understanding and faith.
None of us has a guarantee of life tomorrow. But I believe it is biblical that we can live out our appointed days and then depart in peace.
Perry Stone is an international evangelist who ministers to the body of Christ through television, conferences and other means, and is the author of The Meal That Heals (Charisma House), from which this article is adapted.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!