"Sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level."
The above dictionary definition could easily describe the life of prayer. After all, prayer is the place where we develop "Life-Giving Communication with God" (our His Inscriptions mission), sharing our thoughts and listening to God's heart.
Actually, the definition above is not for prayer, but for communion! Far from just a sacred sacrament, communion is one of the most powerful ways to connect with God in prayer.
I often take communion as part of my personal prayer time. It is a way of remembering the Lord's sacrificial death and renewing my commitment to the New Covenant. As I meditated on His death once again this week, the Holy Spirit highlighted these words: "The Lord Jesus, on the same night He was betrayed, took bread..."
At the very height of our rebellion, betrayal, and utter worthlessness to the Kingdom of God, Jesus was broken for us. Christ’s broken heart led to His broken body. His own compassion drove Him to provide an answer for our broken-heartedness, and all the sin that proceeded from it. Oh, what a Savior!
When my children act up; when they are at the height of their selfishness and rebellion; when they cannot see any value in what I teach or what I require of them, I am far less inclined to do anything of such magnitude for them. No – in fact, humanly speaking, I feel just the opposite. My innate reaction is to turn away, to judge or punish them, to refuse my fellowship with them in such a state!
Yet Jesus does the unthinkable. He looks upon our sin with pity, not judgment. He expands His heart instead of closing it down. He “throws His pearls before swine,” so to speak, making the greatest sacrifice of all in the midst of our greatest betrayal of all!
Peter says it this way in Acts 2:36: “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” When Satan unleashed his most murderous strategy to date against God, God released His most loving sacrifice of all time.
Having poured out His blood to seal the New Covenant with us, Jesus now poured out His Spirit to empower us. Those who, like Peter, betrayed Him, He restored. Those who doubted Him, He strengthened. Those who sold Him into the grip of death, He forgave and did not allow us to judge, saying that even this betrayal was simply a part of God’s plan. What a Savior!
In some way, in some fashion, this One who is so greatly deserted and most unfairly treated manages to include everyone, even the worst of us, in His encompassing love! No one is exempt; no one is unworthy. There can be no better Shepherd and Overseer, whose love for our broken souls results in His broken body. He loves us at the highest price when we place upon Him our lowest value.
I find that the practice of taking communion - breaking bread together with Jesus – brings restoration of my soul, revived hope for my spirit, and healing for my physical body. To take communion is to enter into a supernatural experience of fellowship with the one Person whose friendship with me is the most unlikely.
We do not deserve this high-quality friendship. We have not always listened to our chief mentor; worse than that, we have not submitted to the One who is Master and Lord. Yet He still calls to us: “Come up higher! Leave the pettiness of your flesh-thoughts aside and see Me as I truly am: Love incarnate.”
To take communion is to remember that in this world that continues to rebel, deceive and betray you as it did Christ, you have one enduring and eternal friend: Jesus. He did not count His life dearer than yours, although He, as it turned out, was truly God!
Christ overcame evil with good. He acted in the “opposite spirit” of what we would have expected Him to do. When evil increased, He matched that demonic donation with an even greater gift. And He calls us to do the same:
Why? Because the most beautiful masterpieces ever made are based on this principle of contrast. Light shines brighter against a backdrop of darkness. Love goes deeper when injuries seem fatal. It is your contrasting spirit that marks you as sons and daughters of a heavenly Father. It is your effort to win souls instead of wounding them that perfects you. It is the one acceptable sacrifice you can give to the One who gave all for you.
Pray with me now:
Father, I come to you humbly, knowing that it was my sin that nailed you to the cross. I receive Your sacrifice of love for me and Your forgiveness, though I know I am not worthy of it! Thank you for loving me. Not just once, but continually, even when I turn away. Thank you for restoring me personally and showing me the amazing power of overcoming evil with good.
I pray that in all my interactions on this wounded planet, you will empower me to love. Help me to act in partnership with the Holy Spirit when the spirit of this world threatens to unravel me. I know that as evil increases in these last days, hearing You speak will be even more important for me. I believe You have a victorious plan. I choose to walk inside of Your will, doing my part to bring others into life-giving communion with You. Amen.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.