By Heather Adams, Crosswalk.com
“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).
Most of us have been on the receiving end of God’s kindness at one time or another. And we can give powerful testimonies of His goodness to us, whether the gifts we’ve gotten have been more material, emotional or spiritual in nature.
For me, God’s blessings have come in many different forms. But I didn’t always recognize them as His handiwork. I confess that early on in my Christian walk, I often mistook His provision as coincidence. But as I grew in understanding, I realized just how much He provided for me each day, in big and small ways.
Then I began to learn that God actually wanted to hear my prayers for blessings. I was amazed and thrilled that I could ask the Lord for anything. But, I soon saw that learning how to lift up requests in a way that would please Him, and seeking things that He would want to give me, were both crucial parts of the process.
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How Can We Pray for Blessing?
We’ll find guidance right in Scripture for how to approach God and ask for His favor on our lives.
First, our prayers should be thoughtful. Does my prayer align with what I know of God? If our worship life is healthy, we’ll have a better sense of how the Lord wants to work in our lives. We’ll have a humility of spirit that pleases Him as well.
Next, our prayers need to be bold. Am I confident that God will hear my plea and answer me somehow? Along with that comes the courage to submit to His Ways. We can let go of any desire to control, and put our trust in Him.
Also, our prayers need to be thankful. Is my heart cherishing what my Heavenly Father has already done for me? When we come before him aware already of His goodness, our words will contain joy as well as gratitude. We’ll want to share our experiences with others, too.
Psalm 103 tells us that God is “abounding in love” for His people, and out of that affection comes a desire to grant them blessings. I’m trying to balance asking my Heavenly Father for His favor with giving Him praise and thanks. I am also more careful about what kind of blessing is worthy of asking Him for. When I do that, my time of prayer becomes a special moment of worship - and that is a blessing in itself.
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Prayers for Blessing in the Bible
In Genesis, Jacob showed great persistence as he wrestled with God. He understood the importance of getting the Lord’s blessing, and didn’t relent easily.
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not go unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:24-26).
“...do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” (v. 2)
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.” (v. 4)
“Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love…” (v. 6)
“Guard my life and rescue me…” (v. 20)
“Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!” (v. 22)
1 Samuel 1 tells the account of Hannah, one of two wives of a man named Elkanah. She was distraught because she could not give her husband any children, and was often provoked by his other wife. During one visit to the house of the Lord, she offered a heartfelt prayer for blessing and a vow to God. She wasn’t trying to barter with the Lord, but was expressing an honest desire to please Him.
“In her deep anguish, Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life…’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11).
Moses received instruction from God in the book of Numbers about how the priests were to pray for blessing on the Israelite nation. This passage shows some ways the Lord wants to anoint us.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
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A Prayer of Blessing for Your Family
I come before You to lift up my earthly family. Thank You that I’ve been placed here, not by accident, but with a purpose. So let me be an intercessor for these relations, as a way to show them Your love.
I confess it can be challenging to be with certain members of my family, God, for lots of different reasons. But by Your grace, I want to sow seeds of peace and understanding in conversations. Help me to accept each person as they are, even if I disagree with them, so that we might find some meaningful connection.
Father, I pray that Your blessing would cover this family, keeping us healthy and safe. And give us the desire to have family ties that are strong, so that we can build each other up.
In Jesus Name,
A Prayer of Blessing for Your Community
No matter if we live in a small town or large city, You have given each of us some sort of community to be a part of. I’m grateful for the gift of fellowship and even friendship that mine offers.
It says in Proverbs that “Iron sharpens iron.” So I pray for Your blessing on my interactions with neighbors. Let my words be full of encouragement and truth, and reflect a real concern for them.
Lord, please align my heart with Yours so that I take advantage of opportunities to impact my community for the better. Help me to actively look for ways to reach out, whether to do an act of service or just to check in and say hello.
In Jesus’ Name,
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A Prayer of Blessing for Your Church and Pastor
Thank You for leading Your people to be in relationship. It’s exciting to think of my church as just one part of a worldwide family, and that we all share the bond of belief in Jesus as our Lord.
I pray for Your blessing over my church, Father. Let there be unity between me and my brothers and sisters, that we would join together in worship. I ask for Your strength and gladness to fill us as we serve one another and those beyond our walls. Holy Spirit, come and fill our building, so that anyone who enters will sense Your presence.
Our Pastor is called to be the shepherd of our flock. Please grant Him favor as he leads us on that “straight path” You call us to follow. Guard his heart and protect him from the attacks of the enemy. I also lift up his family, and ask that their needs be met.
In Jesus’ Name,
A Prayer of Blessing for Our Leaders
We acknowledge You as our true King. But You have set up systems of government for this world. The politics may look different between countries, but we are all called to respect the rulers that are in place for us. Let Your blessing fall on every earthly authority.
I ask for Your anointing on government officials, at whatever level they may serve. Let them lead with wisdom, and a desire for justice for all the people. May the lawmakers make thoughtful decisions, and may the councils, senates and congresses seek to truly care for those in their locales.
Bless us also as we do our best to obey the leadership we have, while remembering that Yours is the Kingdom we must ultimately submit to.
In Jesus’ Name,
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A Prayer of Blessing for the New Day
It says in Scripture that You created the world and all that is in it for us to enjoy. You gave us times to rest and then to rise again. All of that was a display of power and an act of provision for us.
As I see the morning light, I’m reminded that Scripture says Your mercies are new every day. So though I don’t know what today will bring, I pray that You will re-fill me with the strength, wisdom and love I need to serve You.
I ask for Your favor to rest on me as I walk through every moment and situation. And most of all, Abba, bless me with Your presence. Help me to make the most of this day, and to worship You through what I say and do.
In Jesus’ Name,
A Prayer of Blessing for Your Ministry
Thank You for making us Your hands and feet in this world, and inviting us to join You in what You’re doing.
You’ve given me gifts and talents, and I want to use them wisely. So please show me how to bring You glory through the work that I do. Guide me to the right ministry, and shape my heart for service. Let me find fellowship with others who are working alongside me, so that together our impact will multiply.
Give me patience when I need to wait for a project to begin, grant me perseverance to continue when the way gets long or difficult. I pray I might get even a small glimpse of Your vision, and keep it in my sights, so my heart stays in line with Yours.
In Jesus’ Name,
God is pleased to hear the prayers of His people. But we must be careful to have the right motivations and intentions as we approach Him.
As that young Christian, I was excited to learn that I could ask God for blessing in specific things or situations. So, I started lifting up all kinds of requests, but with the answer I wanted already in my mind. I hadn’t yet grasped a very important truth about prayer: God always answers us, but not always in the way we expect.
It’s never wrong to pray for His blessing for things we hope for. But I came before God with an agenda, seeking my will to be done. Over time I became aware that when I did that, I was leaning on my own wisdom, thinking I knew better than the Lord what was best for me or for others. The more I’ve learned about God’s goodness, the less I feel the need to defend my “wants” to Him. I’m better now at getting out of God’s way, and I look forward to seeing how He will work.
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