Guidelines for Reception of Communion
Communion is a family meal for Christians. We welcome not only members of our church, but all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament; those who are baptized1, members of a congregation which proclaims the gospel2, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully in Christ. Children who have made a public profession of faith and received Christian Baptism are welcomed to the Lord’s Table.
If you are not yet a professing Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend the time during communion in prayer using the prayer and verses that follow as guidelines. We hope that this time is helpful as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with His people, the Church.
John 6:27-29: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’”
John 6:35: “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’”
John 5:24: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
John 3:16, 17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Prayer for those Searching for the Truth
Jesus, You claim to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following You as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open me to the reality of who You are. Give me an understanding of You that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that You promise. Amen
Prayer for those Struggling with Sin
Lord Jesus, grant that I may see in You the fulfillment of all my need, and may I turn from every false satisfaction to fee on You, the true and living bread. Enable me to lay aside the sin that clings so closely, and run with perserverance the race set before me, looking to You, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. Amen
Prayer of Belief
Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through You, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment and forgiving me. I turn from my sins-my old life of living for myself-and receive You as savior. Amen
1 We are not distinguishing here between infant baptism and believer’s baptism. If you are trusting solely in Jesus for your right standing before God, and not in your baptism or anything else, you are welcome to participate in communion regardless of the kind of baptism you received – as long as you do so with a clear conscience.
2 We understand that there are sometimes circumstances that may inhibit church membership (perhaps you are visiting from a church that doesn’t have a “formal” membership, etc). If you are trusting in Jesus Christ, and are taking your responsibility for baptism and a vital connection with a local church seriously, even if you have not “dotted every ‘i’,” we invite you to join us today at the Lord’s table. If you are not baptized (see above), or are not a member of a local church, and those blessings are available to you, we urge you to pursue them eagerly and cheerfully.