When our children were young I loved to pray a blessing over them. Usually this was inspired by certain passages of Scripture we'd have studied that day or week in our morning devotions before homeschool lessons began, but other times it was led by the Holy Spirit.
This morning when I was writing in Rafaella's 1st birthday card that same gentle leading brought me to Numbers 6:24-26 so I wrote it inside the card and prayed it over her life. Then I wondered aloud, "Lord, why this particular blessing on her young life?"
It's a beautiful blessing, indeed one of my own favourites, but as no answer was forthcoming from the Lord apart from a sweet sense of approval that I'd obeyed His leading, I decided to ponder the words within the individual sections of the blessing/s.
The LORD bless you and keep you...
In the Hebrew text when the Lord says to 'keep you' it means He will hedge around you, guard you, protect and attend to you. Isn't that marvelous!?
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you...
In the Hebrew text 'and be gracious to you' means that God bends down towards us in kindness, showing mercy and pity, to favour us. How loved we are!
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
The word for peace here is Shalom, the beautiful greeting or blessing which the Jews still offer today. In this verse the Lord literally turns His face towards us, looking face to face at us, and offers us His gifts of friendship, good health, prosperity and safety.
There are no gifts to compare with those the Father has for us!
Now that I see there is a holy treasure trove of goodness in this blessing I will pray it often over Rafaella's life, in fact I shall pray it over the lives of all my children and grandchildren.
Perhaps you have never had someone pray a blessing over your life before?
Then let me change that...
Heavenly Father, gracious LORD, I kneel before you and offer this prayer of blessing from my heart for every sweet child of yours reading these words today and any day in the future, that they may have this great blessing of Yours washed over their lives and filling every empty or parched space in need of nourishment and hope.
May the Lord bless you sweet child of God, may He forever keep you inside His hedge of protection, guarding and protecting you until the great and glorious day of Jesus' return;
May the Lord look down upon you with kindness, mercy, pity and favour as you walk the narrow road which leads to life;
May He look upon you face to face and bestow the gifts of safety, friendship, good health, prosperity and safety in the measure that is perfect and good in His sight for His own holy purpose, abounding in true peace always.
Lord, may you draw all hearts to your own and be gracious as we seek to know you more and walk closer to your chosen path for our unique and God-gifted lives,
In the name of your precious Son Jesus I pray this,