Last night at our monthly prayer meeting we shared the Lord’s Supper. That’s usual. We normally do that. But what we don’t normally do is share it as though we were seventeenth century believers. We like to think of ourselves as contemporary rather than traditional or conservative Christians! Hey, our evening meeting gathers in a pub. How cutting edge is that! But, I’d been struck by a prayer in the Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions produced by the Banner of Truth and felt that we’d benefit from the godly reflection of our forebears in the faith.
I think it worked. It would probably have been better if I’d thought about including it before we’d printed the sheets. That way people could have read it as well as heard it. And we could then have meditated on it fruitfully as we prepared our hearts to share the Lord’s Supper.
So here it is in full.
Prayer for the Lord’s Supper
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.