“Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains…” Genesis 49:26 NIV
The other Sunday I was on my knees praying at the altar when Deryck, a little three year old boy in our church came up and stood very close to me, as if he was listening to what I was telling the Lord. I reached out, as I often do, and put my arms around him and prayed a blessing over him.
I prayed that God would bless him and protect him from evil and from harm. I prayed that God would keep His hand on him and that he would grow up to love and serve the Lord. I asked God to ever meet his needs. I also prayed a blessing on his home and on his parents. When I released him, he kind of threw himself down and said to nobody but himself, “He prayed for me! He prayed for me.”
I believe prayers of blessing are powerful—they are scriptural. Not only should we be praying blessings over our children but we should also be blessing our spouse.
Let’s look at a Biblical blessing. What does it contain?
Gary Smalley and John Trent in their book, The Gift of the Blessing, points out the following aspects of an Old Testament blessing:
1. We are created to be blessed. God created the man and the woman—then He blessed them. [Genesis 1:27, 28]
2. We are created to bless. God promised Abraham that through him the world would be blessed. [Genesis 12:3]
3. Blessings are given to unite us as a unit. It unites us together under God. [Deuteronomy 33:1-5]
4. Blessings are a time to call on God’s protection. [Genesis 28:1-4]
5. The blessing was used to mark an important rite of passage, such as a birth, the Bar Mitsva, a marriage and other significant milestones. [Ruth 4:14, 15]
Smalley and Trent go on to give us in detail the five elements of a Biblical Blessing. Here I will just list them and enlarge on them in future articles.
1. A family blessing begins with meaningful touch. Our children, and even your spouse, are crying out to be hugged and kissed. [Genesis 27:26] The act of touch communicates warmth and personal acceptance.
2. A family blessing will be spoken—words of love and acceptance. [Gen. 27:27-29]
3. Words are also spoken that express high value and attaches honor to the one being blessed.
4. A family blessing pictures a special future for the person being blessed. These words are not forgotten by the one blessed and they become goals to attain.
5. A family blessing contains an active commitment of support for the one being blessed.
Do you have a family altar—a time of daily devotion? Are you actively and overtly blessing your family? Is your family hearing daily words of love and support? Remember: What you say to your family returns to you with interest.
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