Pray a Blessing

Graham Kendrick talks about how we can use an old testament story to pray for someone...

The words that are spoken to us, both positive and negative are extremely powerful. I can think back to my childhood and remember things that were said that really lodged in me - mostly for better but sometimes for worse.

Some the most powerful words we can speak (on the positive side) to each other is a 'blessing'. One of my favorite sources of blessing comes from the Old Testament. Aaron, the high priest would go into the holy place and he would make an offering before God. The offering would be received, he would come out and then he would bless the people on the basis of what had happened in that secret place with God where an offering had been made and forgiveness of sins had been made possible by God.

The people would be stood waiting outside the holy place, hoping that everything was okay because they knew that the forgiveness of their sins depended upon God accepting the offering. So when Aaron emerged I'm sure there would be a great sigh of relief. Aaron would then raise his hands and say 'May the Lord bless you, may the Lord keep you and may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you His peace.' It's paraphrased that but that's pretty much the nub of what he would say. So Aaron was actually passing on a blessing from God to His people.

I think that saying this blessing is a lovely thing to do and it's a great thing to do in prayer. Sometimes I will do just that when when I'm on my own and I'm praying for someone in my private prayer time. I will actually call that person to mind and speak this blessing over them as if they were there. It really helps me to pray something positive for someone.

So it's often been put to music and I got stirred up and inspired by the power of blessing and I thought I would like to write a setting of it as well so I wrote The Peace.

Now may the peace of the Lord be with you, be with you
Now and always

May the Lord bless you
May the Lord keep you
And may God's face shine upon you always
And give you peace

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