[reprinted from January 13, 2011]
I am studying some of the principles of my faith. Over the next few days I am going to be sharing some of the basics that have been the foundation that continues to feed into my growth.
I am starting with the Matthew 5 and the Beatitudes. That brings me to a question: What is a blessing? When I think of God blessing me, it is both a spiritual and natural declaration of divine care. That is new consideration for me. Those who know me may find that surprising as I usually close my personal emails with “BLESSINGS!”. I had not considered the … wonder … of what I was doing. I am glad that God wanted to say something to people through me – and I wasn’t aware of it!
Asking God to bless someone is, to me, the perfect prayer. It is the part of my prayer for anyone that assures me that I am asking God to give that person exactly what they need. I may think of someone during the day (or night) and have no idea what is going on in their life – but God does. Asking Him to bless them means I want His hand upon them in whatever way they have a need. If there is someone who has hurt me or angered me in some way, I can ask God to honestly bless them. I take me out of the equation and let Him love them.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Romans 12:14 (NLT)
And Paul exhorts me to bring it on to the next level. Ask for divine care on people who persecute me! I have had people openly dislike me. I doubt they “persecuted” me the way that Paul had personal knowledge of persecution. But nonetheless, Paul is showing me the way Jesus lived. Jesus truly blessed Paul and Paul (Saul) truly persecuted Jesus! Paul knows what he is talking about when he tells me that blessing those who persecute me is living like Jesus. That is where I want to be.
My children are grown. They have children of their own. They live hundreds, even thousands, of miles away from me. Prayer is not restricted by miles. Some might think that it gets easier as a parent when your children are adults. I don’t think so. Choices get more difficult. Responsibilities increase. I probably spend more time praying for my children now than I did when they were children. They need God’s blessings, His divine care. God knows their hearts. He knows where they are in their relationship with Him. God wants that relationship more than I do. He blesses them to bring them closer to Him. I want that, too.
To bless, to consecrate and declare sacred, catches God’s ear and I suspect pleases our Father that we are about carrying His blessings into all the world.
The LORD Bless You & Keep You written by John Rutter & sung by The Cambridge Singers