“The word bless is not be confused with the word, praise. Because the people who need blessing the most are the ones who deserve it the least.” – Cheryl Sacks, Co-Founder of Bridge Builders International
God really is beautiful in that He takes something so simple and adds a third dimension. It’s enough to befuddle Satan. Why I didn’t see it sooner leaves me to wonder if my eyes have been closed?
On Saturday, I attended a prayer seminar at American Lutheran Church. They hosted Bridge Builders International, “…an Arizona-based Christian organization called to mobilize the Church in united fervent prayer and “vertical” worship, engaging God’s presence for spiritual awakening and community transformation.” In it, we experienced a level of prayer that moved me beyond my comfort zone.
I am a fun and serious person uncomfortable with the show of a lot of emotion. Even raising my hands in prayer causes discomfort. Yet, this level of prayer brought each of us—just strangers—to a closer and deeper place of prayer. When Cheryl explained Genesis 27, we heard the story of Jacob and Easu. She explained that a blessing is desirable, but what surprised me was when she said:
“…the person receiving it [the blessing] does not need to be worthy of it.”
Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was a blessing to us and we were not worthy of it. Cheryl explained the definitions of blessing: “…to invoke, divine, favor upon; (being empowered to prosper. Blessings are benefits that add to our lives additional resources from God.)” Likewise, wishing a curse on someone is defined as, “…to appeal to a supernatural power for evil or injury to befall someone or something. That which brings or causes evil; to invoke evil, calamity, or injury upon. (to cause to fail).”
The words blessing and curse remind me of the scripture from Matthew 5:44 (CJB):
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that spitefully use you and persecute you,”
Bless, not curse, which brought us to her end point: To pray a blessing upon everyone, enemy and friend alike, which would have the power from God to encourage success rather than failure. It also, in my opinion, leaves our soul open to God’s will rather than what we want God to do for us, or in the words of a friend, spouting a grocery list of things we want from God. I learned so much of the power of words today and the power of prayer.
When we prayed a blessing over each other, we used a method that most definitely moved me beyond my comfort zone. To a stranger, I touched her ears and prayed for her to hear; I touched her shoulders, and prayed for the burdens and the tears, and touched her hands and so on, praying in a deeper way. And I prayed when quiet, internal prayer was called for, a blessing over my enemies—for them to prosper, to be happy, to find a close relationship with Christ, to be healthy, to be in love, and I realized the power of that prayer.
For anyone who has been wounded, praying a blessing over your enemies is so contrary to human nature it confounds the world. It opens the door to transformation of your enemy, removes your anger, and frees you. While I held no more anger towards my enemies, I also never prayed a prayer of blessing over enemy, friend, or myself. It is so beautiful. So three-dimensional. Only God could come up with the perfect prayer—one that accomplishes both justice and love in one swoop.
Pray a blessing over your enemy, and they and you change for the good of all.
Write a prayer of blessing in the comments section for your enemy, friend, yourself, or your significant other.