Have you received blessing from someone praying over you?
The first time I remember feeling blessed by someone’s prayers over me, I was a college senior, presenting my Senior Integration Project. I wrote and illustrated a children’s book and sat at a meeting with two professors I held in high esteem. They offered a helpful critique, and at the end, they asked if they could pray for me. I remember my art professor’s deep voice as he prayed over my future.
I felt as if he was speaking on God’s behalf, that God wanted to bless me, guide me, and encourage me on my career path. I felt encouraged and blessed by his prayer. More than anything else in that review meeting, my professor’s prayer over me stands out in my mind, decades later.
When I facilitated small Bible study groups, I noticed that many people seem reluctant to pray aloud. Many are afraid to make a mistake, fearing they will sound stupid or shallow.
I know the power of praying aloud, so I tried to ease the group into this method. I introduced the main body of the prayer, then encouraged group members to say one word or phrase as we went around in a circle. This became easier with practice.
In the group we talked about praying blessings over our children. One woman in the group said her husband had a praying grandmother, apparently the only explanation for his success in escaping a dysfunctional background. We all desired our children to experience encouragement and blessing from audible prayers that may shape their futures. So we practiced and exchanged ideas, using the book The Blessing as our guide.
For the past several years, I have prayed a simple blessing over each of my children at bedtime. Now they refuse to go to bed until they receive their blessing. Even my almost-teenage son still wants his blessing.
I place my hand on their head and call them by name, saying, “God bless you _____. I pray blessings on you in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Sometimes I add a phrase which relates to their current situation. Before the Amen, I will add, “May he heal you from your sickness” or “May he help you with your test tomorrow.”
I want my children to have vivid memories of prayers spoken over them. I want them to feel confident in praying aloud and in speaking words of blessing to their children someday. I want them to know the power of words of encouragement, spoken through prayer.
Questions for your reflection—please share your responses so others may be inspired!
Has anyone ever prayed over you? If so, how did that make you feel?
On a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how comfortable are you praying aloud in front of others? What might you be willing to try to become more comfortable?
Have you ever prayed aloud over someone else?
Have you spoken blessings over your children?
If you have children in your home, what action can you take today to bless them with audible prayers?
Blessings to you, Sarah
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Copyright 2016 Sarah Geringer