Several years ago, after I first wrote a book highlighting the concept of receiving daily Communion for physical healing, I received a letter from a woman whose husband had passed away after a battle with cancer.
She read the book and forced her husband to receive Communion every day. Within a few weeks he passed away. In her letter to me, she was bitter and upset as she wrote: "It really doesn't work. If there was anything to it, then my husband would not have died."
After reading the details of her and her husband's situation, I certainly felt compassion for her. However, I immediately knew what caused the confusion. First was a lack of personal revelation, and second was her perception of Communion.
The message she read in the book was not received as a personal, dynamic revelation for her husband. She forced him to receive Communion based on what she read and not based upon his personal faith.
It was similar to someone who reads a book on how to lose weight in 10 easy steps, and they give up after step two because they haven't dropped 20 pounds yet.
This teaching must move from the printed page and reach into the depths of your spirit to become a quickened revelation that illuminates your spirit and causes great excitement in your soul.
Also, it appeared from her letter that she perceived that Communion was some sort of magical formula. People, especially Americans, love quick fixes, including the latest fads and miracle cures. We purchase workout equipment and get tired just looking at it. We experiment with the latest revolutionary diet that is guaranteed to vanquish love handles.
In every miracle that Christ performed, the faith of the individual was linked to the manifestation of the miracle. The Lord does not force His blessings upon anyone. Therefore my unbelief can make void the promises of God for me personally (Matt. 13:58).
If an individual reads the promises of healing through the atoning work of Christ and does not believe it, then he will not receive it. Here is what the Bible tells us: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6).
Releasing God's Healing Anointing
When receiving Communion with the emphasis of releasing God's healing anointing into our body, soul or spirit, we should never simply go through the physical motions with an attitude of, "Let's see if this works."
We need to understand Communion in terms of God's covenant with man since redemption and the cross are the keys to unlocking the promises of the New Covenant.
What is a covenant? Your English translation of the Bible is divided into two sections called the Old and New Testaments.
The 66 books of the Bible are a summary of God's covenants with mankind. The Hebrew word for covenant is berit, and it speaks of a binding contract between two people.
Every covenant was, in some way, sealed in blood. In the days after the flood, Noah burned sacrifices on the altar and God made an agreement that the Earth would never be destroyed by water again. In the Abrahamic covenant, the physical act of circumcision was the sign that a Jewish male had "cut the covenant" with God.
After the resurrection of Christ and the grafting in of the Gentiles into the church, it was no longer necessary for a believer in Christ to be physically circumcised in his flesh. Paul taught that true circumcision was when God removed the hardness of a person's heart after that person accepted Christ and the New Covenant.
In the early church, baptism immediately followed a person's conversion to Christ. Water baptism should be emphasized the moment a person comes to Christ. The act of participation in the Communion meal also identifies you as a believer in Christ.
Building Your Most Holy Faith
When I began to understand the spiritual truth behind the power of Communion, one of the important areas of illumination was the power of Communion as it relates to faith and healing. There are many methods of healing found in the Scriptures. There is healing by speaking the Word, healing through a manifestation of the Spirit, healing through the gifts of the Spirit and healing through the prayer of faith.
We are told that the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up (James 5:15). During a prayer of faith, the lack of faith (or unbelief) can become a hindrance to the prayer being answered. There are times when a person's faith may be stronger than other times, and we often judge the power of our prayers on the circumstances or feelings surrounding the request.
In many methods of healing, the manifestation comes as a result of the person's faith. The same is true with Communion. A person must believe in the healing power of Christ's body and blood, and that the redemptive anointing of Christ is working in his or her body to produce healing and strength. Faith is the path that all spiritual blessings follow.
Communion is powerful because it is based upon God's covenant with us. When I receive Communion, I sense such a relief knowing that I am leaning, not on another person's prayers or another person's faith, but upon simple trust in God's covenant!
It takes the human pressure off a person who thinks he or she must have a stronger faith, a special atmosphere or a greater anointing to see a manifestation of healing.
Remember the Voice of Healing
In the 1940s and 1950s, there were many ministers who operated in the gifts of healing and miracles as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. Multitudes attended these meetings, and many were healed of sicknesses and diseases. My father recalls how people would say, "If I can just get to the big tent revival of Brother So-and-so, I will be healed."
Many times they were healed because they released their faith, not in the man, but in the anointing presence when he prayed for the sick. In those days, there might be thousands of people attending the service each night. The ministers often sat in chairs and prayed for hours on end for individuals in the prayer line. The ministers would become weary and, if a person was missed in the prayer line, he or she left disappointed.
Today there are people who attend healing meetings and leave disappointed because the minister didn't call them out or the Lord didn't seem to have His eye on them. The secular unbeliever often mocks these meetings and considers them a sham or a show. This causes stress on the ministers who walk in this calling because the sincere ones have a burden for people and are often accused of being a fraud because someone was prayed for who wasn't healed.
One great minister in the 1940s was told by a skeptical preacher, "If you can really heal the sick, go to the local hospital and pray for them to be healed. Empty out the intensive care unit." The man answered, "You are a preacher. Why don't you go to the hospital and win them all to the Lord? Get everyone saved if you believe in salvation."
The skeptic replied, "A person must believe in order to be saved." The healing minister replied, "And a person must believe in order to be healed!" Others seeking healing often believe there must be a certain atmosphere created to ensure the healing prayer has worked. Even some ministers cannot operate under an "anointing" unless the stage, the music and the lighting are set just right. God does use people to minister to others, and He does bring special miracles through the anointing of His Spirit (Acts 19:11).
The True Power of Communion
However, I believe the most perfect way of receiving anything from the Lord is through your own personal faith in the Word. This is why Communion is so powerful.
God is true to His covenant. He is true to His Word. He has magnified His Word above His name (Ps. 138:2). God is so true to His covenant that when He threatened to destroy the Hebrews for worshipping the golden calf, Moses simply reminded God of His covenant with Abraham. With that reminder, the Lord repented of His decision to destroy Israel (Ex. 32:14).
Faith without works (action) is dead (James 2:26). Often before Christ healed the sick, He asked the person to perform an act of faith to demonstrate that the person believed for his miracle. For example, Jesus said:
- "Stretch out your hand," to a man with a withered hand (Luke 6:10)
- "But go and show yourself to the priest," to 10 lepers (Luke 5:14)
- "Rise, take up your bed and walk," to a paralyzed man (John 5:8)
- "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam," to a blind man (John 9:7)
Years ago, a gifted evangelist had great results ministering to the sick. Before prayer, he would tell folks to act out their faith by doing what they could do, for example, to move a part of their body or to begin praising God in advance. A young girl had been involved in an accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. She began moving her eyes up and down as a sign of her faith that God would heal her. The minister knew what she was doing; she was acting on her faith in the only manner she could—by moving the only thing she could move, her eyes.
As he prayed for her, the power of God rushed through her body, and she was able to stand up and walk. Her mother was so shocked that she fainted! By taking the time to prepare the Communion supper and spend time meditating on Christ and His covenant, you are acting on your faith.
You would not take time to go through the process if you did not consider Communion an act of great importance in your life. God loves to see people act out their faith, and He loves it when we understand His covenant.
Standing on God's Promises
The Old Testament was based upon obedience to the written law of God recorded in the five books of Moses called the Torah. The New Covenant is based upon walking in repentance and forgiveness and acting upon the promises given in the New Testament.
Paul taught that we have a better covenant established on better promises (Heb. 8:6). By definition, a promise is a divine assurance of something good. Below are a few of the many promises given to believers in the New Testament:
- Salvation by faith (Eph. 2:8)
- Justification by faith (Rom. 5:1)
- The promise of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39)
- The promise of healing (1 Pet. 2:24)
- The promise of Christ's return (Acts 1:11)
- The promise of heaven (John 14:2-3)
- The promise of eternal life (John 3:14-17)
- The promise of ruling with Christ (Rev. 20:6)
Receiving Communion is both an act of faith and an act of obedience. God moves toward us when He sees us act upon our faith in His Word and believe the words of His covenant. Jesus said it this way: "If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7). Remember, the Bible says: "My covenant I will not violate nor alter the word that has gone out from My lips" (Ps. 89:34).
Perry Stone directs one of America's fastest-growing ministries—Voice of Evangelism. Perry has written more than 40 books and produced more than 100 videos and DVDs as well as hundreds of audio teaching album series. Manna-Fest, a weekly television program, can be seen via cable and satellite.
Watch as Creflo Dollar reveals the powerful significance of taking Communion at communion.charismamag.com.
Discover the healing available for your heart and body through Communion in evangelist and teacher Perry Stone's latest book, The Meal That Heals: Enjoying Intimate, Daily Communion With God (Charisma House). You can find this book at amazon.com, christianbook.com or anywhere Christian books are sold.
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