PRAYERS BEFORE COMMUNION
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
- Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd, and will deny me nothing.
He has settled me in a green pasture, and nourished me beside refreshing water.
He has converted my soul, and led me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
For even though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they guide me.
Thou hast prepared a table before me in the face of those who trouble me.
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and Thy chalice comfort me!
Thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord throughout the length of my days.
- First Prayer of St. Basil the Great
O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, source of life and immortality, Who art the Author of all creation, visible and invisible, the equally everlasting and co-eternal Son of the eternal Father, Who through the excess of Thy goodness didst in the last days assume our flesh and wast crucified for us, ungrateful and ignorant as we were, and didst cause through Thy own Blood the restoration of our nature which had been marred by sin: O immortal King, accept the repentance even of me a sinner, and incline Thine ear to me and hear my words. For I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to gaze on the height of Thy glory; for I have provoked Thy goodness by transgressing Thy commandments and not obeying Thy orders. But thou, O Lord, in Thy forbearance, patience, and great mercy, hast not given me up to be destroyed with my sins, but Thou awaitest my complete conversion. For Thou, O Lover of men, hast said through Thy Prophet that Thou desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he should return to Thee and live. For Thou dost not will, O Lord, that the work of Thy hands should be destroyed, neither dost Thou delight in the destruction of men, but Thou desirest that all should be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. Therefore, though I am unworthy both of heaven and earth, and even of this transient life, since I have completely succumbed to sin and am a slave to pleasure and have defaced Thy image, yet being Thy work and creation, wretch that I am, even I do not despair of my salvation and dare to draw near to Thy boundless compassion. So receive even me, O Christ Lover of men, as the harlot, as the thief, as the publican, and as the prodigal; and take from me the heavy burden of my sins, Thou Who takest away the sin of the world, Who healest men’s sicknesses, Who callest the weary and heavy laden to Thyself and givest them rest; for Thou camest not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. And purify me from all defilement of flesh and spirit. Teach me to achieve perfect holiness in the fear of Thee, that with the clear witness of my conscience I may receive the portion of Thy holy Things and be united with Thy holy Body and Blood, and have Thee dwelling and remaining in me with the Father and Thy Holy Spirit. And, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not the communion of Thy immaculate and life-giving Mysteries be to me for condemnation nor let it make me sick in body or soul through my partaking of them unworthily; but grant me till my last breath to receive without condemnation the portion of Thy holy Things, for communion with the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and as an acceptable defense at Thy dread tribunal, so that I too with all Thy elect may become a partaker of Thy pure joys which Thou hast prepared for those who love Thee, O Lord, in whom Thou art glorified throughout the ages. Amen.
- First Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy or sufficient that Thou shouldest come under the roof of the house of my soul, for all is desolate and fallen, and Thou hast not with me a place fit to lay Thy head. But as from the highest heaven Thou didst humble Thyself for our sake, so now conform Thyself to my humility. And as Thou didst consent to lie in a cave and in a manger of dumb beasts, so also consent to lie in the manger of my unspiritual soul and to enter my defiled body. And as Thou didst not disdain to enter and dine with sinners in the house of Simon the Leper, so consent also to enter the house of my humble soul which is leprous and sinful. And as Thou didst not reject the woman, who was a harlot and a sinner like me, when she approached and touched Thee, so also be compassionate with me, a sinner, as I approach and touch Thee, and let the live coal of Thy most holy Body and precious Blood be for the sanctification and enlightenment and strengthening of my humble soul and body, for a relief from the burden of my many sins, for a protection from all diabolical practices, for a restraint and a check on my evil and wicked way of life, for the mortification of passions, for the keeping of Thy commandments, for an increase of Thy divine grace, and for the advancement of Thy Kingdom. For it is not insolently that I draw near to Thee, O Christ my God, but as taking courage from Thy unspeakable goodness, and that I may not by long abstaining from Thy communion become a prey to the spiritual wolf. Therefore, I pray Thee, O Lord, Who alone art holy, sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart, my emotions and affections, and wholly renew me. Root the fear of Thee in my members, and make Thy sanctification indelible in me. Be also my helper and defender, guide my life in peace, and make me worthy to stand on Thy right hand with Thy Saints: through the prayers and intercessions of Thy immaculate Mother, of Thy ministering Angels, of the immaculate Powers and of all the Saints who have ever been pleasing to Thee. Amen.
- Prayer of St. Symeon the Translator
O only pure and sinless Lord, Who through the ineffable compassion of Thy love for men didst assume our whole nature through the pure and virgin blood of her who supernaturally conceived Thee by the coming of the Divine Spirit and by the will of the Eternal Father; O Christ Jesus, Wisdom and Peace and Power of God, Who in Thy assumption of our nature didst suffer Thy life-giving and saving Passion – the Cross, the Nails, the Spear, and Death – mortify all the deadly passions of my body. Thou Who in Thy burial didst spoil the dominions of hell, bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and scatter the spirits of wickedness. Thou Who by Thy life-giving Resurrection on the third day didst raise up our fallen first Parent, raise me up who am sunk in sin and suggest to me ways of repentance. Thou Who by Thy glorious Ascension didst deify our nature which Thou hadst assumed and didst honor it by Thy session at the right hand of the Father, make me worthy by partaking of Thy holy Mysteries of a place at Thy right hand among those who are saved. Thou Who by the descent of the Spirit, the Paraclete, didst make Thy holy Disciples worthy vessels, make me also a recipient of His coming. Thou Who art to come again to judge the World with justice, grant me also to meet Thee on the clouds, my Maker and Creator, with all Thy Saints, that I may unendingly glorify and praise Thee with Thy Eternal Father and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
- First Prayer of St. John Damascene
O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who alone hast authority to forgive men their sins, overlook in Thy goodness and love for men all my offences whether committed with knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Thy divine, glorious, spotless, and life-giving Mysteries, not for punishment, nor for an increase of sins, but for purification and sanctification and as a pledge of the life and kingdom to come, as a protection and help, and for the destruction of enemies, and for the blotting out of my many transgressions. For Thou art a God of mercy and compassion and love for men, and to Thee we send up the glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
- Second Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I know, O Lord, that I partake of Thy immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily, and that I am guilty, and eat and drink judgment to myself by not discerning the Body and Blood of Thee my Christ and God. But taking courage from Thy compassion I approach Thee, for Thou hast said: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.” Therefore have compassion, O Lord, and do not make an example of me, a sinner, but deal with me according to Thy mercy; and let these Holy Things be for my healing and purification and enlightenment and protection and salvation and sanctification of body and soul, for the turning away of every phantasy and all evil practice and diabolical activity working subconsciously in my members, for confidence and love towards Thee, for reformation of life and security, for an increase of virtue and perfection, for fulfillment of the commandments, for communion with the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and as an acceptable defense at Thy dread Tribunal, not for judgment or for condemnation.
- Second Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
I am not worthy, O Lord and Master, that Thou shouldest enter under the roof of my soul; but since Thou in Thy love for men dost will to dwell in me, I take courage and approach. Thou commandest: I will open wide the doors which Thou alone didst create, that Thou mayest enter with love as is Thy nature, enter and enlighten my darkened thought. I believe that Thou wilt do this, for Thou didst not banish the Harlot who approached Thee with tears, nor didst Thou reject the Publican who repented, nor didst Thou drive away the Thief who acknowledged Thy Kingdom, nor didst Thou leave the repentant persecutor (Paul) to himself; but all who had been brought to Thee by repentance Thou didst set in the company of Thy friends, O Thou Who alone art blessed always, now and to endless ages. Amen.
- Third Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-Virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
- Second Prayer of St. John Damascene
I stand before the doors of Thy sanctuary, yet I do not put away my terrible thoughts. But O Christ our God, Who didst justify the Publican, and have mercy on the Canaanite woman, and didst open the gates of Paradise to the Thief, open to me the depths of Thy love for men, and as I approach and touch Thee, receive me like the Harlot and the woman with an issue of blood. For the one received healing easily by touching the hem of Thy garment, and the other by clasping Thy sacred feet obtained release from her sins. And I, in my pitiableness, dare to receive Thy whole Body. Let me not be burnt, but receive me even as these; enlighten the senses of my soul, and burn the stains of my sins: through the intercessions of her who bore Thee without seed, and of the Heavenly Powers, for Thou art blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
- Fourth Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. And I believe that this is Thy pure Body and Thy own precious Blood. Therefore, I pray Thee, have mercy on me and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And grant that I may partake of Thy Holy Mysteries without condemnation, for the remission of sins and for life eternal. Amen.
PRAYERS AFTER COMMUNION
I thank Thee, O Lord my God, for that Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast suffered me to be a partaker of Thy holy things. I thank Thee that, unworthy as I am, Thou hast enabled me to receive of Thy most pure and heavenly gifts. And yet moreover I beseech Thee, O Lord and Lover of mankind, who for our sakes didst die and rise again, and hast provided us these dread and life-giving mysteries unto the benefit and hallowing of soul and body, and the driving out of every adversary; for the enlightening of the eyes of my understanding, and peace for the powers of my soul; for faith unashamed, and love without dissimulation; for the fullness of wisdom, and the keeping of Thy commandments; for the increase of Thy divine grace, and an inheritance in Thy Kingdom, that preserved by them in Thy holiness I may be ever mindful of Thy grace, and not henceforth live unto myself but unto Thee, our bountiful Lord.
And when I have departed this life in the hope of life everlasting, vouchsafe that I may enter into eternal rest, where the voice of them that flourish is unceasing, and the delight of them that behold the unsearchable beauty of Thy countenance knoweth no bounds. For Thou art the true desire and the ineffable joy of them that love Thee, O Christ our God, all creation doth sing Thy praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Prayer of St. Basil the Great
Lord Christ our God, King of the ages and Creator of all, I thank Thee for all the blessings Thou hast granted me and for the communion of Thy pure and life-giving Mysteries. I pray Thee, therefore, gracious Lord and Lover of mankind, guard me under Thy protection and within the shadow of Thy wings; and grant me with a clear conscience till my last breath worthily to partake of Thy sacred Gifts for forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. For Thou art the Bread of Life, the Source of Holiness, the Giver of all that is good, and to Thee we send up glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
- Prayer of St. Symeon the Translator
O Thou Who givest me willingly Thy Flesh for food, Thou Who art fire, and burnest the unworthy, scorch me not, O my Maker, but rather pass through me for the integration of my members, into all my joints, my affections, and my heart. Burn up the thorns of all my sins. Purify my soul, sanctify my mind; strengthen my knees and bones; Enlighten the simplicity of my five senses. Nail down the whole of me with Thy fear. Ever protect, guard, and keep me from every soul destroying word and act. Sanctify, purify, attune, and rule me. Adorn me, give me understanding, and enlighten me. Make me the temple of Thy Spirit alone, and no longer a habitation of sin: that having become Thy house by receiving Holy Communion, every evil spirit and passion may flee from me like fire. I bring to Thee as intercessors all the saints, the ranks of the Heavenly Hosts, Thy Forerunner, the wise Apostles, and Thy pure and immaculate Mother. Receive their prayers, my compassionate Christ. And make Thy slave a child of light. For Thou alone art our salvation, O Good One, and the radiance of our souls, and to Thee as our Lord and God as is right we all give glory day and night.
- Another Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ our God, may Thy sacred body be for me unto life everlasting, and Thy precious blood unto remission of sins. May this Eucharist be for me unto joy, health and gladness. And at Thy dread second coming, account me, a sinner, worthy to stand on the right hand of Thy glory: By the prayers of Thy most holy Mother, and of all the saints.
- A Prayer to the Virgin Mary
Most holy Mother of God, who are the light of my darkened soul; my hope, my refuge and shelter; my comfort and my joy: I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast suffered me, unworthy as I am, to be a partaker of the pure Body and precious Blood of Thy Son. Do Thou who didst bring forth the true light, enlighten the eyes of my understanding. Thou that gavest birth to the fountain of immortality, quicken me who am slain by sin. Thou who art all compassionate, O Mother of the merciful God, have mercy upon me, and bestow on me the spirit of remorse and a contrite heart. Give me lowliness of mind. Loose my captive thoughts. And vouchsafe that even unto my last breath I may without condemnation receive the hallowing of the most pure Sacrament unto the healing of soul and body. And grant me the grace of repentance and confession that I may praise and glorify Thee all the days of my life. For blessed art Thou and all glorious for ever and ever. Amen.
- The Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist
Here are five great prayers you can use before Communion or the Lord’s Supper.
Prayer for Humility
Let us now bow humbly before You at this time, where we are about to receive Communion or the Lord’s Supper. We have no reason to have any pride Father, especially knowing that You resist those who are prideful (James 4:6). Help us to remain humble at the receiving of the bread and wine, because of what they symbolize, which gives significance to their meaning. Jesus, when we receive the bread and wine (juice), let us stay humble in recognizing that You paid such a high price that You did not owe, and shed your precious blood so that we might be saved. Righteous Father, let that sink deep into our hearts and make us grateful for the cost Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, paid. As we gaze upon Your beauty Jesus, let us receive the bread and wine with humility, knowing You are present with us, but also acknowledging that You made our redemption possible by your own precious blood and life, so we ask Your blessing on our Communion Lord, and to receive it for Your glory and in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Examining
I do pray that those who have come to the Lord’s Supper have examined themselves beforehand so that they do not drink the wine (grape juice) or eat the bread in an unworthy manner, meaning that we don’t forget to esteem the precious body and blood of our Savior, and discerning it’s meaning for us today. I remember Jesus promising that the next time He partakes of Communion, it will be with those who dine with Him in the kingdom, as part of the celebration at the wedding feast of the Lamb of God with His bride, the church. That day we will partake of the meal in His presence is what we yearn for, and why Paul may have said that as long as we partake of the bread and wine, we proclaim His coming, so let us do just that, but do so with a heart that is willing to be examined to see if there is any unconfessed sin in our lives, and if there is Father, please forgive us so that we might have peace of mind when taking the bread and the wine, and we truly look forward to partaking of this meal in the very presence of Jesus Christ someday, and it is in His name we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Exalting
Great God in heaven,
Just to be able to fellowship with You and with Christ at Communion is such a privilege, that we cannot even express it in words. How grateful we are God, that You passed over our sins because of the shed blood of Christ, poured out for those who have trusted in Him. Help us to exalt You oh Lord in this service and to praise, honor, thank, and give You glory for our being able to commune with You because of Jesus Christ. If not for the precious blood of the Lamb of God, which has cleansed us from all unrighteousness (2nd Cor 5:21; 1 John 1:9), we would still be in our sins and only deserving Your wrath, but for some unknown reason God, You chose us to become a people for Your own self, and that You have said, “I will be your God, and you shall be my people.” What a glorious thing to contemplate, especially since not even one of us are good and not even one has ever sought you (Rom 3:10-11). You sought us and bought us, and now we give You thanks and ask Your blessing on the bread and wine, and we ask this in the name of and for the glory of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer for Remembering
Father God in heaven,
Help us to remember the agony that Jesus endured before going to Calvary and not just on the cross. He knew beforehand that He would be bearing the sins of the world. How heavy that must have felt, we can only imagine how abandoned and forsaken He must have felt. I don’t think any of us can really know what our precious Savior endured for us on the cross. The shame, the beatings, the torture, and the agony of being crucified for something He didn’t do, and dying for us who were the ones that deserved this wrath. He grieved the sin that He bore so much that He sweat drops of blood. How hard was it for our sinless Savior to bare our sins? What price, what glory, what passion! Thank You Lord for this tremendous privilege. Great God, help us to keep sober minds and quiet spirits as we partake of the Lord’s Supper, understanding the suffering of the Savior’s passion for this meal to even be possible. Let this sink deep into our minds and cause our hearts to realize just how great a price He paid for those of us who had no hope outside of Christ. We know we should take stock of our lives well before Communion to see if there is any area in our life that is not right with You. Help us to see this as a somber, yet joyful occasion, but that every person should come with a clean conscience beforehand. And Father, help us all to remember the supreme cost that Jesus Christ paid, but as His Father, You too suffered greatly, and we can’t imagine what that was like for You Father, and so in the mighty name of Jesus, we ask a blessing on this Communion, and for Your glory, it is in Jesus Christ’s holy name we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Unity
You have called us to be a people for Your own self, and so help us to unify in spirit and in purpose, to do the things You have appointed us to do (Eph 2:10), and this includes partaking and participating in the Lord’s Supper, as a body, which we are commanded to do. Since this is Your body, the church (Matt 25:34-40), we know that You are present with us, and that You are in each and every one of us; You are all and in all. Let us remain quiet in spirit and in movement God, showing deep reverence for such a sacrament. Help us stay focused on the bread and wine, and to think about these symbols, Lord. The body and the blood, both poured out as a drink offering, for a once-and-for-all sacrifice (Heb 10:10). We are overwhelmed by such amazing grace God, that I cannot even express it in a words or prayer! How wonderful are Your ways and awesome are Your blessings; we thank You Lord for the bread and wine and what these mean to us, and what they tell us about our eternity. But more so, what these meant for Christ (John 3:16), as there was no greater love ever shown Lord, in all of human history, and so in a spirit of unity we all now partake of the wine and the bread, and give You the glory for Your amazing grace, in Jesus’ most beloved name I pray, Amen.
Whatever prayer you pray before and/or after the Lord’s Supper or Communion, pray to God with a deep sense of humility, make it be a time of self-examination, and strive to live a life that glorifies God, by proclaiming to others, all of the marvelous things He has done for us, and finally, pray that you come together as a body, a community of believers, in fellowship with one another, having a relationship with one another, but most of all, to be in fellowship with the Living God, our Father; Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and God the Holy Spirit, for without which, we couldn’t even have a relationship with God.
Read more about Communion and the Lord’s Supper here: How to Prepare For Taking Communion
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