As believers in Christ we have an incredible opportunity to release Heaven over those around us when we understand and exercise the power of speaking a blessing.
Speaking a blessing is seen throughout the Biblical narrative. Consider the first account of God speaking to mankind in Genesis 1:22, “And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply…(NKJV)” Since this is the first thing that God spoke to His prized creation, we can see how important it was for God to activate His blessing. It was #1 on His list!
The Hebrews had a strong belief and conviction about the influence a blessing had over a person’s life. Time would fail me to cover all the OT examples. In Genesis 27:18-35, Isaac mistakenly declared a blessing he reserved for his firstborn, Esau, over Jacob instead. Since Jacob had asked for it deceptively, Isaac didn’t realize it until Esau came to receive his blessing. Isaac replied, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing (Gen. 27:35, NKJV).” This is how real a blessing was to the Hebrews! To paraphrase Isaac, he basically said, “Sorry son, I already pulled the trigger and that bullet is gone.”
In the NT we see many instances of Jesus speaking blessings. Consider these examples…
- The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:3-11 and Luke 6:20-23
- “…Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” – Luke 11:28
- “’Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’ And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.” – Mark 10:15-16
- “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.” – Luke 24:50
These are just examples where the word “blessed” is specifically mentioned. However, every record in scripture of Jesus encouraging and affirming someone in their faith is also an example of Him speaking a blessing.
The Hebrew word for “bless” is barak, which meant to fill with benefits, either as an end in itself or to make the object blessed as a source of further blessing for others. In another sense the word could mean to “praise,” as if filling the object of blessing with honor and good words.
When praying a blessing over someone, imagine your words are being poured into any voids a person may have in their heart. You are filling the cup of their soul with goodness and favor. On a daily basis, people are hit with negativity, doubt and discouragement. Speaking a blessing can reverse the curse cycle people feel trapped in.
Regularly, we should be sending forth blessings over our spouse, children and those around us. I have personally been active in speaking blessings over my wife, my sons, my family members, my fellow believers, my neighborhood and my enemies (Matthew 5:44).
Here are 4 Keys to Speaking A Blessing:
1. Speak Blessings AFTER Cleansing Your Mouth of Cursing. James 4:9-10 says, “With the tongue we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”
Being critical of others and using filthy language can muddy-up the springs of blessings that God desires to flow from us. Hatred doesn’t mix well with the love of God. Habitual cussing associates us spiritually with denigration, condemnation, fecal matter and perversion.
Reality is, we’ve all fallen short in these areas at times. We all need to repent and ask Jesus to forgive and cleanse us from the word curses we’ve sent forth. Jesus’ blood can wash your words and make them “whiter than snow (Psalms 51:7).”
2. Speak Blessings as One Who is Blessed. The Apostle said in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Take a moment and remind yourself out-loud with the following: “Lord Jesus, I thank you that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in You!”
We should bless others from a position of overflow. If you’re having a bad day or week, you will have to rely solely on faith, not your feelings. Let the word of God and His promises richly dwell within you (Colossians 3:16) and receive His love into your heart in a fresh way.
3. Speak Blessings in the Name of Jesus. Paul said, “…Nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature (Romans 7:18). We don’t have any power in ourselves to loose spiritual blessings on people. If a spiritual transaction is going to take place, it’s going to be the result of us becoming a vessel for God’s Spirit to move through.
Speak and pray for blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. His name is the “name above all names (Phil 2:9).“
4. Speak Blessings by Speaking the Word of God. Taking time to declare spiritual blessings from the Word of God over another person is a mighty work. Pronouncing God’s Word activates Heaven from the hearer’s ear-gate all the way to the Pearly Gates.
Speaking The Word…
- Activates Faith (Romans 10:17)
- Activates Angels (Psalm 103:20)
- Activates a Harvest (Isaiah 55:10-11)
- Activates the Demolishing of Strongholds (Jer. 23:29)
There are many passages from the Word of God that can be used to speak a blessing over someone. Below is just one example…
“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
-Numbers 6:23-26, NKJV
This is the famous priestly blessing. The three-fold pattern of the blessing suggests the affirming presence and activity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Words and principles such as bless, keep, grace, presence, favor and peace are powerfully sent forth to the recipient (For the Lord’s face to shine upon you and for His countenance to be lifted up upon you is a declaration of presence and favor).
A prayer of blessing could be spoken as follows…
“In Jesus’ name, I pray for the Lord to bless you and keep you;
I pray for the Lord to make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
I pray for the Lord to lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.”
CC Image • Courtesy of Elvert Barnes on Flickr