What I Pray Before the Bread and Wine

We do weekly communion, which means that there are two prayers that I come up with each week: one before the bread and one before the wine. When I began preaching and leading worship I decided to structure these communion prayers a particular way. Here is how I do it. Before the bread I use a portion of the Old Testament to structure my prayer. Before the wine, I use a corresponding portion of the New Testament. From Advent through 1st Sunday of Trinity these prayers follow the church year. For example during Advent, I use Daniel, John the Baptist, Isaiah, and Revelation (2nd Advent). When the Trinity/Pentecost season begins I start with creation and work through Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, Ezra, and Nehemiah, as well as some others. These prayers are the same every year, though I would like to eventually have a two year set. Here are my prayers for the 2nd Sunday of Trinity.

Bread: Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. 

We praise you Father for the world you have made. For the sun, moon and stars which declare your glory. For the winged creatures that soar in the sky.  For the beasts that run upon the ground. For all the creeping things that crawl on the ground and for the fish that swarm the sea. For all these we give you thanks and praise. We know that you have placed these things under our feet that we might use them to your glory.  As we eat this bread strengthen us in Christ that we might go forth and take dominion.  In the name of Christ we pray. Amen!

Wine: O Lord you are worthy of all blessing and honor for you sent your only begotten Son into the world to deliver your people from sin and the Devil. We praise you Almighty God that you did not leave this world to be ravaged by Satan, but instead reconciled us to Yourself through Jesus Christ. Indeed we are new creations in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. O Lord as we drink nourish us upon Christ. Help us to be separate from the unbelieving world that we might truly be your sons and daughters. For the sake of Christ and His Kingdom. Amen!

Here are my prayers for Ascension Sunday:

Bread: Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. 

Everlasting Father, we praise you for King David for when the uncircumcised Philistine stood up and defied the armies of the Living God, he gather his courage and the stone sank in the giant’s head and David cut off his head with his own sword. We praise you that as you delivered David from the bear and the lion so you delivered him from the giant. For the battle belongs to You O Lord.. We praise you that the one who born of David is the true King. We praise you that his body was broken that Satan’s head might be crushed. We ask now that you would grant us strength as we eat  to fight as David fought. Go before us O Lord as you went before David and scatter your enemies before our faces and that all the kingdoms of the earth might belong to Christ. In His Name we ask all this Amen!

Wine: O Lord you are worthy of all blessing and honor for you sent your Son that he might be our great high priest. He ascended on high where he makes intercession for us.  He promised that we would receive the Holy Spirit and that we would be his messengers to the ends of the earth. We also praise you that one day he will return just as left. As we drink the wine this morning grant us grace through Christ’s shed blood that we may be faithful witnesses to Him and that we might look with joy to the day when our Lord will return on the clouds of heaven. We pray this for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom Amen! 

Here are the prayers for this coming Sunday, the 1st Sunday of Christmas

Bread: Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. 

We praise You for the prophet Isaiah, he saw the glories of the coming Messiah. He knew the virgin would bear a Child and the government would be upon His shoulders and He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace and of His Kingdom there would be no end. We are grateful he preached of the great comfort the Messiah would bring by bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows. We pray now as we eat that You would feed us upon this glorious Christ that Isaiah saw and fill our mouths with praise for the work He has done. Amen!

Wine: Blessed are You Lord God for no one can restrain Your hand. Herod the King sought to slay Your Son. Yet you thwarted Him by sending dreams to the wise men and to Joseph. Your Son was then protected in the land where Israel was once in bondage, Egypt. Lord we, like Christ, are plagued on every side by rulers that hate and seek in every way to destroy Your Kingdom. We pray that you would nourish us as we drink and protect us from all our enemies that might live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence. Amen!

The prayers are not perfect. I revise them on a regular basis. Some of them sound too “high” and not like a normal prayer. Some are too long or the sentence structure is awkward. One of the most common revisions is shortening the prayer or shortening sentences within the prayer. There is still work to be done. Having prayed them for several years now, I rarely read them. I often use them as a guide to lead our people to the Lord’s Supper. Sometimes I ignore these prayers all together and pray something else the Lord has laid on my heart. Using these prayers for many years has made me more confident in praying off script. 

I am not sure where I came up with idea, but it has worked well for me. We pray through the all the major portions of Scripture as we work through the year. It also forces me to connect the Old Testament with both the Lord’s Supper and the New Testament. It also helps me pray through the church year. My private prayer life includes more Scripture due to writing out these prayers.

Prayers for the 13th and 14th Sundays of Trinity

Below are the prayers I wrote for our corporate worship service for the 13th and 14th Sundays in the Trinity Season. 

Prayer of Praise from Revelation 2:8-11
Most Holy Lord we praise you for the gift of Christ, the Anointed One, the First and the Last, the one who was dead, but now lives. We praise you that he was bruised for iniquities and chastised for our peace and that by His stripes we have been healed. Almighty God we ask that you would show us mercy as we ascend unto Your Holy Hill. Grant us holy hands that we may lift to you praise. Let the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer, that in the end we might receive the crown of life. This we  pray in the name of Jesus who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen!
Prayer for Illumination from Psalm 119:9-16
            Blessed are you, Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We lift our voices in praise for the Spirit, whom you gave to us at Pentecost. For we know that the natural man does not receive your word, but You have given the Spirit that we might have the mind of Christ. We pray that you would bend our hearts to your word.  When we wander like sheep from your commandments draw us back with your rod and staff. Give to us hearts that rejoice in your testimonies and delight in your statutes.  As we listen to your word grant us ears to hear the One whose voice is like the sound of many waters. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen!
Eucharistic Prayers
Bread: Moses-10 Plagues
 Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord Most High.
            We give you thanks and praise for the great prophet Moses who led your people out of bondage in Egypt. We praise you that with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm you struck Pharaoh and his people with the ten plagues.  You are great O Lord, a man of war, who cast the horse and his rider into the sea. We ask now Almighty God that as we eat you would help us feed upon the One who has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, the One who delivered us from the bondage of sin and death. This we pray in Christ’s name. Amen!
Wine: I Corinthians 15

 Blessed are you Lord God, for Christ died, was buried and has risen from the dead according to the Scriptures, the firstfruits of our final resurrection. We praise you that in the Last Adam we have life. We rejoice that death is swallowed in victory, O Death where is your sting. We magnify your Name because we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us now as we drink to be steadfast and immovable abounding in your work. For we know that our labor is not in vain, in Christ’s name. Amen!

Prayers for the 11th and 12th Sundays of Trinity

These are the prayers I wrote for corporate worship for the 11th and 12th Sundays of Trinity. I do not usually read these prayers. I pray them throughout the week and then quote them from memory on Sunday, usually with a few changes. 
Prayer of Praise from Psalm 118:19-24
Almighty God, We give thanks unto you for you are good and your mercy endures forever. Open to us the gates of righteousness that we may enter in and give you thanks, for you have answered our cries and you have become our salvation. Indeed the stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. Truly this is your work and is marvelous in our eyes. We ask now O Lord that as we take refuge in you that you would show us your great salvation. Let your light shine upon us that we may leave here praising your Holy Name. All glory be to you , Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen!
Prayer for Illumination from Psalm 119:1-8
            Blessed are You Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. We give you  hearty thanks for you are good and Your mercy endures forever. We praise you that we have been born again not of corruptible seed, but through Your Word, which lives and abides forever.  We have gathered at your call to hear you speak to us. We ask now most gracious God that you grant to us your Spirit that we might hear you. Help us to diligently keep your precepts and keep our ways steadfast in your statutes, for we know that all those are blessed who keep your testimonies and seek you with their whole heart. We ask this pleading the strong name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Eucharistic Prayers
Bread from the life of Joseph
 Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord Most High.
            We give you thanks and praise for our father Joseph.  We thank you that though he was cast into the pit and prison you lifted him up to rule over Egypt.  We praise you that he delivered your people and brought them to a good land and fed them grain. We ask now Almighty God that as Israel was fed on the bread from Egyptand they grew numerous and prospered, that you would feed us upon the Body of Christ that we too might have life abundant. This we ask in Christ’s Name, Amen
Wine from Romans 1:1-15

 Blessed are you Lord God, for the promise you made through the prophets you fulfilled by sending Christ born of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.  We give you thanks that because of His great work we have been justified by faith and peace with you.  We ask now most Holy Lord that as we drink you would help us to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. Give us mercy to drink in faith, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen. 

Prayers for the 9th and 10th Sundays of Trinity

Here are the prayers I will be using for the next two Sundays in worship. 

Prayer of Praise based on  I Chronicles 29:10-19
Blessed are You Lord God, our Father, forever and ever, Yours O’ Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory.  For all that is in Heaven and Earth is Yours. Yours is the Kingdom O Lord and You are head over all creation. Now therefore we thank You O God and praise Your glorious name, for who are we that we should be called Your people and that You should call us to worship You at Your Throne.  As we come before Your face give us steadfast hearts to keep Your commandments. Grant us that peace which surpasses all understanding. In the name of Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen!

Prayer for Illumination based on Psalm 119:89-96
            Most Holy Lord, we will praise You with our whole heart  in the assembly of the upright for You are good and Your faithfulness endures to all generations. We give You thanks for the Holy Scriptures, which Your Spirit gave to the prophets and apostles. Your Word stands firm in Heaven and it goes forth here upon earth and accomplishes that for which You sent. Grant us Almighty God to delight in Your law and to never forget Your precepts. For these contain the great Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is our life. Open our ears that we might hear Your voice this morning. Open our eyes that we might see the glory of Christ. In the strong Name of Christ we pray, Amen!
Eucharistic Prayers
Bread: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord Most High.
We lift our voices in praise this morning for our fathers in the faith, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You called Abraham from his idol worship to follow you and he believed your word and you accounted it to himfor righteousness. You brought Isaac from a barren womb and all God’s people laughed for the wondrous work you had done. Our father Jacob sought your face and wrestled with you until you blessed. All of these men were sinners saved by faith. We ask O Lord that as we eat this bread you would strengthen us in Christ that like our fathers we may fear You as we walk upon this earth.  In the Name of Christ we pray, Amen!
Wine: I John

            O Lord you are worthy of all blessing and honor for you sent your only begotten Son into the world to deliver us from sin and Satan and death. O Lord we know that you are light and there is no darkness in you. We praise you for our Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins. Behold what manner of love you have bestowed upon us that we should be called your children. O Lord we know that those who say they abide in the light, yet hate their brother still live in darkness. As we drink grant us grace in Christ to love our brothers, not in tongue or word, but in deed and in truth. For the sake of Christ and His Kingdom, Amen!

Prayers for the 3rd Sunday of Trinity

Prayer of Praise: Psalm 132:13-18
            Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of Heaven and Earth, You have chosen us for Your dwelling place. You have promised that You will be our God and we will be Your people. Because of your great promises we have come to your tabernacle and now seek to worship at your footstool. We cry out to you that would keep these promises as we enter the heavenly sanctuary. We ask you to clothe us, your priests, with salvation and put shouts of joy in our mouths.  We pray that all our enemies would be put shame and that for the sake of Christ we would flourish like a well-watered vine. This we pray in the strong Name of Jesus. Amen!
Prayer for Illumination: Psalm 119:65-72
            O Lord our God we praise you for your Word, which is mighty unto salvation for all men. We give you thanks for you have dealt well with us according to your Word. O Lord speak to us now as we hear your Word read and preached. Afflict us if we have gone astray and help us to keep your Word.  For we know that it is good to be afflicted that we might learn to keep your statutes. Above all teach us to delight in the Scriptures, for the law of your mouth is better to us than a thousand gold pieces. In the strong name of Christ we pray. Amen!
Eucharistic Prayers
Bread: Noah’s Ark
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord Most High.
            We praise you Almighty God for the great flood you sent upon the earth so long ago. The earth was corrupt. The wickedness of man was great. Indeed, every thought of his heart was evil. Yet Noah found grace in your eyes and you delivered him through the flood. He came forth upon a purged earth and gave to you a burnt offering in thanksgiving. We like Noah have been delivered from your wrath because of your grace. As we eat , nourish us upon Christ and give to us hearts of thanksgiving for your great salvation. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen!
Wine: Titus 3:3-8
O Lord you are worthy of blessing and honor for you sent your only begotten Son into the world to deliver us from sin and the Devil’s snare. We know that we were once disobedient fools, serving our lusts and pleasures, full of malice, envy and hate. But then your kindness appeared and you saved us, not by works of righteousness, but according to your abundant mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. For this great salvation we give you hearty thanks and praise. As we drink this wine, strengthen us upon Christ that we might be a people zealous for good works. For the sake of Christ and His Kingdom. Amen!

Prayers for Ascension Sunday

Prayer of Praise
            Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give you thanks and praise for the kings of the earth rage and plot and seek to break Your chains, but You laugh them to scorn. You have set Christ on Zion’s Holy hill and have given Him the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for His possession. As we enter your presence help us to serve Christ with fear, to rejoice with trembling and to kiss the Son, for we know that all those who trust in Him are blessed, this we pray in the name of Jesus who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end, Amen!

Prayer for Illumination
            O Lord our God, when Christ ascended to heaven he gave gifts to men. These gifts were the apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers. He gave these gifts that we might be equipped to do the work of the ministry. We thank you for those men who have faithfully given us your Word. Now Lord as we come to your Word complete us for every good work. Bend our hearts to your word that we might not be children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, but instead might grow up into our head, Jesus Christ. It is in his strong name that we pray. Amen!

Prayers for the Lord’s Supper
Bread
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it truly, right and good and our duty that we should at all times and in all places give You thanks and magnify Your Holy Name, therefore with the Angels, the Archangels and all the company of heaven we praise You saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord Most High.
Everlasting Father, we praise you for King David who slew Goliath with a single stone and cut off his head with his own sword. He gathered courage for he knew the battle belongs to You O Lord. We praise you that the one who born of David is the true King. We praise you that his body was broken that Satan’s head might be crushed. As we eat, give us courage to fight the good fight.  Go before us O Lord as you went before David and scatter your enemies that all the kingdoms of the earth might belong to Christ. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus Christ.  Amen!
Wine
            O Lord you are worthy of all blessing and honor for you sent your Son that he might be our great high priest. He ascended on high where he intercedes daily for us.  He promised that we would receive the Holy Spirit and that we would be his messengers to the ends of the earth. We praise you that one day he will return just as left. As we drink the wine this morning grant us grace through Christ’s blood we might be faithful witnesses to Him and that we might look with joy to the day when our Lord will return. We pray this for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom Amen.