Daily Devotional 9-3-18

A Prayer of Preparation for Holy Communion

Almighty God, Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, Our Father: You sent Your only begotten Son to live the sinless life I cannot live and to die on the cross to pay the penalty of my offenses against Your holy Law, and to open the pathway to eternal life; so that

In unfathomable love, You received me, from the transcendent eternity past, in mysterious Triune fellowship, covenanting within Yourself—Father, contracting; Christ, complying, Spirit, conveying—before I was yet born, praying for me, and then guiding me, until the fullness of time, when, by grace through faith, You, Holy Spirit, cloacked in the flesh of a believer, breathed the transformative Gospel of grace and truth into me, raising me from the rotting grave of original sin, and forgiving me—even me—from the self-loathing stench of wickedness that proceeded from my infected will—that will nothing more than a hopeless and vile beggar at the door of my own heart—redeeming me from the auction block of sin, whereupon I was a slave to every evil impulse of the flesh, every trick of the Devil, and was a dying victim to the sin-plagues of this present evil age; and, O Lord

Your presence lifted me from the muck and the mire of the mess I had made, plucked me from the raging fire I had started, and set me near Your altar for all time: a sanctuary of untouchable peace, a place where I belong, a pleasant and healthy land; and

So, dear Lord God, grant, that by the body and blood of Jesus—His righteousness and His substitutionary atonement—I may approach the Passover of Holy Communion, with both bowed-down reverence of a bondslave and trembling joy of a rightful heir, not only eat and drink with understanding, but also to welcome You, again,

Into the far-away rivers and tributaries of my unseen life, remote spiritual canals, some of which, are becoming dry creek beds, drained of Your living water by the devilish dams of accumulated spiritual debris: cold indifference, unseemly self-satisfaction, unbridled thoughts, all converging to unclothe my spirit’s shroud, whereby the sinister, scorching, and relentless radiation of lost Eden’s poison air seeps in; a quiet killer; Therefore,

I pray Thee, O Savior, let my head rest on Your bleeding side, permit me to kiss of Your nail-scarred hands, and help me to know the Lover of my soul; and

So, loving Lord Jesus, sup with me now, that I may dine with You tomorrow; help me to speak in the solitude of prayer this moment, so that I can eat and drink in unconcealed verity in the hours from now; grant a special measure of faith, that I may rightly discern the salvific emblems of the Lord’s Supper, uniting me in holy communion with the One Triune God and with all of Your children, bringing about a bouquet of Eucharistic devotion;

So, Lord, hear this lowly creature’s prayer, this penitent son’s supplication; Come to our service with the holy fire from heaven that consecrated Solomon’s Temple; Stir my hiding heart to come out, and attain unto new heights of love, for You, for others, and for Your mission in the world;

So that, in the Holy Communion Service to come, precious brothers and sisters, honored fathers and mothers, and cherished sons and daughters, in faith—Your family and, now, by supernatural adoption, my own—might taste of the fruits on luxurious Board of Redemption, with the joy of Jesus; and so

Until that glorious Day when the sky is rent in twain, and we behold You in unequalled celestial splendor, returning to Your earth, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords; help me to gaze upon You, Christ Jesus, by the power of the gift of faith, inhale the purified air, smell the sweet incense of the royal chambers of New Jerusalem; and exhale unto eternal life, skipping like a yearling loosed from the fetters of sin’s cycle of sorrow; and

Until I worship Thee face-to-face (my heart trembling as I pray this, Lord, for who am I to ascend unto Thy hill?), hear this prayer for the sake of Jesus our Lord and to more nearly prepare an honored room for His rightful preeminent place in my life; and do, O God,

Husband my soul to rightly take of the Bread and the Cup, so that I eat of Your Body and drink of Your Blood, with faith, and by grace, unto everlasting life;

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

+ Michael Anthony Milton, Saturday before the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, 2018