What should we say in prayer during the Lord’s Supper?

communion_bread_cupIn the Lord’s Supper, what does the expression, “May we do this in a way that is pleasing unto thee” mean?  What should we say in our prayers during the Lord’s Supper?

In 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, Paul wrote, “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”  I believe that it is out of concern for the things that Paul says in these verses that we often say the words the questioner has in mind during the Lord’s Supper.  The context of Paul’s remarks was the church at Corinth changing the Lord’s Supper into a common meal.  Look at 1 Corinthians 11:20-22:

Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

This is what Paul means by eating and drinking the supper of the Lord unworthily.  Now since we aren’t making the same mistakes that the church at Corinth made, we need not be concerned about eating and drinking judgment to ourselves, at least, from that standpoint.  So, when someone prays, “Help us to partake in a manner that is pleasing,” the sentiments of one praying such are scriptural, and they do remind us that it isn’t about pleasing self that we do this, but God; however, it isn’t because the form of our observance is wrong, as was Corinth.  We do want to focus upon the right things when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, and worship by faith.  When we worship by faith, we will please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Having said that, the second part of the question is “What should we say in our prayers during the Lord’s Supper?”  There is really only one thing that is required for us to say during the Lord’s Supper.  Look at 1 Corinthians 11:23-25:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

We are supposed to follow the example of Jesus when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, and when Jesus prayed for the Lord’s Supper, He gave thanks.  So, the only thing that we have to say in the prayers during the Lord’s Supper is: “Thank you for this bread,” and “Thank you for this fruit of the vine.”  We may say other things, but these are the only things that are required by Jesus example.  Those who partake of the Lord’s Supper must also think about the significance of the supper linking the bread to Jesus’ body, and the cup to Jesus blood.  So, it is appropriate to give thanks for Jesus’ body and for Jesus’ blood.  Jesus also said in reference to the shedding of His blood, that it was for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28).  In that regard, it is appropriate to remember that we are forgiven of sins by the blood of Christ during the Lord’s Supper.  We should avoid trying to pray for other things during the Lord’s Supper and just focus upon our thankfulness for the supper and Jesus during this time.