â€œI pray that the LORD will bless and protect you, and that he will show you mercy and kindness. May the LORD be good to you and give you peace.â€ Numbers 6:24-26 (CEV)
Did you grow up in a home where â€˜The Blessingâ€™ was said before every meal? I did. It was a specific prayer that we said every meal, every day. And that is OK except by the time I was old enough to understand the prayer it had become such a â€˜habitâ€™ that I didnâ€™t LISTEN and ask the blessing from my heart. My mother had set the example but I didnâ€™t follow. Itâ€™s wonderful to see my children encourage my grandchildren to pray their own blessings. I got a â€˜eaves-droppingâ€™ recording from my daughter the other night. My granddaughter was praying before she went to sleepâ€¦doing her â€œâ€¦and God blessâ€¦â€. She was praying specifically for her â€œUncle Johnâ€ that he would do well in a baseball game he was going to pitch in her home town the next night. He was on her heart because she was going to see him SOON! At one point, I think her daddy was helping her with some words and she said, â€œStop, Daddy! Youâ€™re messing up my prayer!â€ We have all laughed at that but it certainly preaches to ALL of us. Remember how Jesus told us to have the faith of a child? May we remember that God hears the prayer of our hearts (even if words fail us!) and answers well!
A blessing is a prayer that leaves out manipulation and personal agenda and instead asks God to pour out His gifts upon His child (or children). The example of this prayer given by God to Moses and addressed to the Levites asks for such GOOD STUFF!!! When praying for someone no matter what the specific need, including these elements is asking for a double blessing, isnâ€™t it? When someone has, say, a health need, lifting that need to God and being specific as the Holy Sprit leads and then asking God to protect and show mercy and kindness and goodness and cover that person with His peace â€“ that is truly asking God to give more than they could ask or imagine!
[Jesus said,] â€œBut I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.â€ Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)
Jesusâ€™ words are never â€“ careless. He always says what He means. I may not always understand it the way Jesus means but maybe His first phrase here gives me a clue about that! â€œyou who hear meâ€. Do I want to hear what Jesus says? In this case, the words that I have heard and received about â€˜blessingsâ€™ even goes for those people in my life who hate me, dislike me, irritate me, bug me, and even mistreat those I love. Yes, do I really want to hear that?
[Jesus said,] â€œIf you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even â€˜sinnersâ€™ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even â€˜sinnersâ€™ do thatâ€¦But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.â€ Luke 6:32-36 (NIV)
Jesus asks more of me. Jesus gives more to me. He gives me all that I need to be obedient and glorify the Father. It comes down to a choice on my part. It comes down to my FLESH. There arenâ€™t many in the â€˜enemyâ€™ category, thank my Lord, but they do exist. What healing, what joy, what heavenly peace comes to me when I make the choice and ask the Holy Spirit to give me what I need so I can pray blessings over ALL!