Breaking Bread, the Principle (Mark 14:22-24 ESV)
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. ”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Luke 22:18-20 (NIV)
Many years ago (1986), I attended a Youth for Christ camp meeting at the University of Ekpoma (Now Ambrose Ali University). I was a final year student in UNIBEN at the time. One of the teachings that struck me at the programme was on ‘the Breaking of Bread’. After that programme, I really learnt that a Christian can do a lot to make her (in Christ Jesus, there is neither male nor female) prayers effectual and fervent, so that it will achieve results. James 5:16 KJV, says: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The Breaking of Bread is one Christian ordinance that make our prayers more fervent and effectual.
On my return from that meeting, there were bloody students riots that led to vandalisation of school property and even the death of a student and a policeman. We were subsequently sent home for such a long time that by the time we resumed, some of our classmates who were already engaged to get married, returned with advanced pregnancies.
Anyone who graduated in my set will recall that we took our exams under very stressful circumstances because we resumed from that long period of closure to meet our exam timetable and deadline for submission of projects slammed on us. It was the wrong time to fall ill. One of my classmates became feverish and started to stool blood at this inauspicious time. I remembered the ministration on the Breaking of Bread as a gift to the children of God, and decided to apply it to help my friend.
At the camp meeting, an argument had ensued as to whether the gift was available to unbelievers or not. To us, anyone who was not attending any of the new generation fellowships was not ‘born again’ and some of the brethren posited that people outside of our fold could not benefit from this special provision by Christ.
I have always believed that God would always work with people according to how they perceive Him and I personally felt that He would hear us on this occasion. She went to the health centre and was diagnosed with dysentery and she was getting weaker. The timetable and other timelines were not going to make any excuses for her so, she agreed on the breaking of bread with me as I explained to her that it represents the covenant of grace, made available to all who believe in Jesus Christ. We have been asked to do it as often as we can, in remembrance of Him. So, we can can invoke the covenant whenever we are in need of God’s intervention.
She was not ‘born again’ as we understood it, but she was a believer in Jesus Christ and as I gave her scriptures backing this practice, she was in agreement and we broke bread. The bleeding stopped instantly and she regained strength and was able to continue with the exams and the required strength to cope with the demands of that difficult period.
Another friend told me of when she had a serious problem in the office and was very scared of the outcome of a management meeting that was to hold later in the day. She had all the signs- memos, incidents, to show that her expatriate bosses had untoward plans for her. During her break time (Just before the impending meeting), she quickly rushed to a nearby parish (She is Catholic) and took Holy Communion and the priest prayed for her. On her return, the atmosphere had changed and the outcome of that meeting rather eventually favoured her. Her bosses were not believers; yet, they could not resist the power of the Kingdom of God.
Breaking of bread (Holy Communion as it is called in church settings) is one ordinance that lends extra strength to prayer. In my family, we have used it to survive very difficult times in ways that most people would not be able to understand. You can also try it yourself and share your testimony to strengthen others.