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The Power of Communion: Accessing Miracles Through the Body and Blood of Jesus
by Bill Johnson
Learn More | Meet Bill Johnson | Meet Beni Johnson
I was raised in the church. As the saying goes, “I cut my teeth on the wooden pews.” My parents were never officially pastors, but they were always leaders in the church. We called them “lay pastors.” They weren’t licensed, but they helped in the church, mostly with the youth, and were there all of the time. We definitely spent a lot of time in those wooden pews. For us, though, being at church was just a normal part of life. I never resented how often we were there. I loved it. I don’t remember ever complaining about going to church. That was where our community was; it was how we did family.
I also loved getting to be a part of what God was doing. I suppose that, even then, I was a people-watcher. When the minister would give the altar call, inviting people to come up front and give their lives to the Lord, I would walk right down and sit on the ground by the first pew. I remember one time, the pastor invited people to come to the front to encounter more of the Lord. I immediately went right down and sat at the end of the first pew. People began to come up, and right away they started to manifest physically. They were crying and rolling around on the ground, encountering the Holy Spirit in new ways. This was many years before the renewal in the ’90s, where this kind of activity became a bit more normal. I had no idea what was going on! But I knew it was the Lord. I don’t remember being scared at all. Even as child, I loved seeing how encountering God changed people.
Our church, like most churches, had a monthly tradition of taking Communion as a congregation. All those who knew Christ as their Savior celebrated the death and resurrection by sharing in Communion. As a young girl, I thought the best part of this was that I got to eat a little wafer and drink a doll-sized cup of juice. That was pretty fun! At that time, I was getting to participate in the joy and celebration of Communion, but it would be many years before I began to fully experience and understand the power of this tool that Jesus gave us. In fact, it was really only a few years ago, when my husband became so ill that his life appeared to be in jeopardy, that I began to understand Communion in a whole new way.
In First Corinthians 11:23-26, Paul writes:
- 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.” For as often as you eat this
bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s
death till He comes.
In the midst of His betrayal and impending death, Jesus gave us a tool. He gathered His disciples around for the Passover meal, He gave thanks, and then He gave all believers a way to remember the New Covenant that was about to be made on the cross.
I have always taken Communion whenever I have felt prompted by the Holy Spirit. As an intercessor, I have included Communion as a part of my prayer time. It has always been wonderful and powerful. However, it wasn’t until Bill got sick several years ago, that I grabbed on to Communion in a more intentional way. Something shifted for me. Since that time of taking Communion daily in the hospital with Bill, I don’t wait for Communion Sunday at church or even for the Lord’s nudging. I’ve started to take Communion as a tool in my intercessory toolbox, as a purposeful and proactive part of my relationship with the Lord. I usually take it every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and this new intentionality has shifted my expectation and understanding of the power behind that little wafer and small cup of juice.
A Tool of Intercession
On Sunday, April 9, 2017, our church body ended a corporate fast. My husband preached a wonderful sermon on the impact of Communion, and at the end of the service we took Communion as a congregation. We prayed together, applied the blood of Jesus to our families and communities, and celebrated what Jesus did for all mankind. That morning, I prayed—like I always did—for each of my family members. But I also felt moved to pray for two of my best friends’ children who were lost in their spiritual lives. I pleaded the blood of Jesus over their lives and remembered all that Jesus had done for them when He went to the cross. Even after we were finished taking Communion, though, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to keep praying for them.
Sometimes the Lord invites us into what I like to call seasons of prayer. These are moments in time when something or someone is put on our heart to pray for, and we just can’t let it go. In those seasons, the Holy Spirit will press upon us to keep praying for that specific person or issue. This intense focus may last just a day or much longer. And, in that time of prayer, we may get to see the answer to our prayers or we may just be invited into the process without seeing any specific results. But, either way, we continue to pray because we are being pulled to do so. And usually, just as quickly as the season of prayer comes, it will lift.
Praying for the children of my friends lasted for several days. At the end of that time, I knew that I was released from that season of prayer when these two individuals were lifted from my heart. Not that I didn’t still love and pray for them, but they weren’t constantly in front of my face. Even though there hasn’t been a conclusion to their story yet—these two are both still on their journey back to the Lord—I know that that time of praying for them intentionally and taking Communion, pleading the blood of Jesus over their lives, was fruitful. In these moments, we may not always be able to see the direct results of our prayers, but we can rest assured that another seed was planted.
Any time we are entering a season of prayer for an individual or an issue, we are co-laboring with God. When I use Communion during these seasons of prayer, I joyfully get to do my part in declaring Heaven over their lives. One thing that is important for me to watch out for, though, is allowing a spirit of heaviness to remain on me after I pray. Sometimes, when we get burdened in prayer for someone, the weight of their situation can start to drag us down. I lived this way for many years. Now, I’m really careful about feelings of heaviness. For me, if I start to accept a feeling of heaviness, it will try to take me down a path that leads into depression. I try really hard not to carry it. At the end of every prayer, I make sure that I surrender that person or situation back to the Lord so I’m not carrying it. I will take Communion, plead the blood of Jesus over that person, and then I have to let it go. It’s not healthy for me, and when we carry that heaviness, there’s also an element of withholding our trust from God. My friends’ kids are not aided by my depression. I care deeply about their welfare, but ultimately, He’s got them. I just get to be on the winning team.
Judy Franklin has worked for Bill and me for over 20 years. Around ten years ago, she heard a teaching on Communion and felt burdened to pray for her son’s salvation. When he was six years old, he had accepted Jesus into his heart, and he had been filled by the Holy Spirit as a young man. But, as an adult, he had fallen away from the Lord. Judy prayed for him constantly. He was taking drugs and also transporting them across the border with Mexico. He was in such bad shape that she felt like he was near death. After Judy heard the teaching, she began to take Communion and declare over her son. She started saying things like, “Jesus, You died for Danny. I’m calling on the power of Your blood to bring him back to You. You sacrificed Your body for my son, and because of that, I call him back from the powers of darkness.” Every morning she did this, not knowing if anything was changing.
But, after about six weeks, he came to her, curious about what made her so happy. She told him that her relationship with God was what gave her joy. “I then prophesied who he was in Christ,” she said. That Sunday, he joined her at church and went forward for prayer at the end. As he was receiving prayer, he was overcome with the power of Jesus and fell over, receiving immediate deliverance. He stood up a new man, filled with Jesus and free from addiction.
Scripture says that each time we take Communion, we are “proclaim[ing] the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). When we take the body and blood of Christ, we are reminding ourselves whose we are and what He did for all of us. The commentary in the Spirit-Filled Life Bible puts it this way, “Each occasion of partaking is an opportunity to say, proclaim, and confess again, ‘I herewith lay hold of all the benefits of Jesus Christ’s full redemption for my life—forgiveness, wholeness, strength, health, sufficiency.’”1 When we use Communion as a tool for intercession, we are not only realigning ourselves with Christ, but we are also proclaiming the reality of Heaven over every area of our lives.
A Prophetic Act
When I take Communion, I take it as a prophetic act, applying it to any situation that is weighing on my heart. A prophetic act is a Holy Spirit-inspired physical action that disrupts the atmosphere. Sometimes, I’ll feel as though God wants me to do something tangible to activate something that I’m praying into. During those moments, I simply ask the Holy Spirit, “What should I do about this?” Then, I’ll feel prompted to—for example— take my shofar into the prayer house that we have at Bethel or go to a specific place to take Communion. In completing the prophetic act, we are releasing something into the atmosphere that helps the answer to our prayer to break through.
In Exodus, God had the Israelites kill a lamb and put the blood over their doors, signaling to the Spirit of God to pass by without harming the family inside. Moses instructed the Israelites:
- You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the
blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the
blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two
doorposts; and no one of you shall go outside the door
of his house until morning (Exodus 12:22 NASB).
The physical lamb’s blood didn’t save them; the will of God saved them. But the families that participated in this prophetic act were revealing a heart submitted to God. The lamb’s blood was a prophetic act that each family did in order to align themselves with God’s will and alert the spirit realm as to whom they belonged.
When Jesus led the disciples through Communion, during their Passover meal together, He was creating and modeling a prophetic act that believers could continue implementing. He was giving us a way to align ourselves with Heaven and bring Heaven’s reality to earth. Often, when I take Communion, I prophesy to myself. There is something powerful in the spirit realm about the declaration of truth, so I talk to myself out loud. I remind myself who I am, that I’m a daughter of the King and that I’m strong in Him. I pull on the promises of the Bible as they come to mind. I’ll say, “I am crucified with Christ” (see Gal. 2:20). I let the reality of the New Covenant wash over me, changing any mindset within me that needs to be changed. I declare over myself, “I have the peace that passes understanding” (see Phil. 4:7). I remind myself that I can walk in His peace no matter what circumstances surround me.
A friend called me one day to tell me that she was going to have a meeting with a top official. As soon as she told me who it was, I began to freak out a little. For several days prior to her phone call, I had felt the push to pray over this official. I prayed for blessings and for the love of Jesus to come. At that point, I was taking Communion three times per day. Each time I prayed and took part in Communion, my main focus had been on this person and her family. There was no way I could have known that God was going to use my friend to speak into this leader’s life! But God knew. And He was the one directing my path and my prayer time. As we take Communion, aligning our mind with God’s, we are able to partner with Him to see breakthrough. We have the most powerful weapon of prophetic intercession available to us.
A Weapon of Warfare
We are at war. We never want to concentrate on anything the devil is doing. We know he’s already been defeated! But, there is a war constantly going on all around us. I share a story in my book, The Happy Intercessor, about traveling with a team up to Mt. Shasta. This beautiful mountain, just north of Redding, is considered to be a place of power and worship for many satanic or occult belief systems. So, I thought, That sounds like the perfect place to bring some godly influence!
- I felt that we were to go up the mountain and take Communion, pray, and blow the shofar. I had around 150 people as a team that day, so it was a power-charged group, and they were ready to see God. We spent some time walking around the meadow praying, and then we gathered around the spring and took Communion together. Then I had a friend blow her shofar. After the third blow on the shofar, we all shouted out praise to God. We thought we were the only ones on the mountain that day. We were wrong. As we left the meadow and began to walk out, a few of us walked out the lower trail. As we walked out, we passed a tree, and we could hear someone hissing. All of a sudden, a young man jumped out from under the tree and ran as fast as he could past us and down the meadow. No sooner did this happen then we came upon a lady sitting lotus style (meditation form) trying to channel. When they channel, they use a coming noise, like a shh, shh, shh, repeating it slowly and softly. One of my friends who was with us had used this practice before she got saved, so she knew what was going on. This lady’s air space had been so disrupted by our prayers that she was yelling her shh, shh, shh. My friend looked at me and said, “Well, she won’t be getting anywhere today."
We never need to be distracted by the activity of the enemy. But we can be aware of the battle that is going on all around us for our minds, for our authority, for our health, and for our peace. We have the winning hand every time! Every time we take Communion, we remind ourselves that the devil has been defeated. The cross had the final word. But I think everyone has experienced being attacked. I’ll share about this more in Chapter 4, but this past year I have dealt with health issues, and there are moments when I’ve been slammed spiritually. I have had to really lay hold of God’s promises of peace. I’ve always considered myself a peaceful person, but I have had to honestly ask myself, Do I really believe that I can walk in peace when there are so many things attacking that very thing?
When I’m taking the bread and the wine in a moment like that, I am in a spiritual battle for my health—spirit, soul, and body. Especially when there’s something going on in my world that is threatening my wholeness, it’s important for me to take Communion more than once a month. It allows me to continually remind myself who I am, who Jesus is, and what He did. Through Communion, I am brought back to the realization of reality: His world is my true reality, not this one.
Several months ago, I had a young woman contact me through text, asking if we could talk. She was sick and had been sick for a while. In fact, for over seven months she had taken three different rounds of antibiotics, but was still not getting well, and no one could figure out what was making her so sick. I began to ask her questions. Whenever I pray for people, many times I’ll ask them questions so that I can figure out why and how a problem started. It’s like a little spiritual detective work that empowers me to pray as effectively and specifically as possible.
In speaking with this young friend, I soon learned that the young man she was dating had previously been married to a woman who was now a practicing witch. Now it made sense. She was being cursed. So I gave her a little homework. I told her that once she got off the phone with me, she was to take Communion and continue to take it every day. While she took Communion, she was to apply the blood of Jesus over her own life and send every curse meant to harm her back to where it came from.
As soon as she got off of the phone, she took Communion and did exactly what I had told her to do. Around midnight, she texted me to say that she was already feeling a little better. She took ahold of the power of the cross, prophesied to her body, and the healing began. By morning, she was completely well. A few days later, she told me that her boyfriend’s ex-wife—the very woman who had been cursing her—had come down with the exact same symptoms that she’d been experiencing for the past seven months. Several months later, our young friend texted me to say, “I’m still taking Communion, and I’m doing great.”
There’s an old hymn I remember singing as a girl, and the words still ring true. “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb. There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb.” There is enough power in His blood to cancel any curse, to save us from our sins, and to heal our bodies. And that power has not waned in 2,000 years; it is very much alive and well.
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