When brothers in Christ are leading the congregation in worship during the Lord’s Supper, it should be understood that they must follow the pattern given in the Scriptures (John 4:23, 24; Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 11:4, etc.). This would include the pattern of prayer exemplified by Jesus and repeated by Paul. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He gave thanks to the Father in Heaven for the unleavened bread, likewise giving thanks for the fruit of the vine (Matthew 26:26, 27; Mark 14:22, 23; Luke 22:17-19). Paul recounted this and instructed Christians to follow the same pattern set by the Lord:
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; cf. 4:17; 7:17; 14:37).
Knowing that a giving of thanks for the bread and fruit of the vine is present in the pattern, it is troubling when brothers in Christ say all kinds of things when leading prayers during communion, without ever saying one word of thanksgiving! Here is a sample of a common prayer pattern one might hear on any given Sunday during the Lord’s Supper:
Our Father in Heaven, please be with us as we are about to partake of this unleavened bread, which represents the body of Christ that He gave for us on the cross. May those who partake of it do so in a manner well-pleasing unto thee. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
That prayer may sound pretty good to the ears of many, but the one part of prayer that is actually recorded in the Scriptures (thanksgiving) is missing! Some brothers may pray for rain, for the sick, etc., saying almost anything one can imagine besides what the pattern actually reveals. Brothers in Christ, let us follow the Scriptural pattern of giving thanks in communion, showing God our gratitude and making sure we are pleasing Him with our worship.