Few things are more painful to the human heart than strained or severed relationships. Because we love deeply, we can also hurt deeply, and it is especially so in a Christian family unit.
I recently read two books that have powerfully changed my prayer life and my view of people: The Grace Outpouring by Roy Godwin and The Power of Blessing by Kerry Kirkwood. In them, I read many stories of how people and situations were changed for the better when someone spoke blessing over them (even privately)! We can do the same.
Do you have a difficult someone in your life? Jesus says to us in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you; do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
Why are we to do something that seems so contrary to our human nature? The answer is found in I Peter 3:8-9: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” As we bless others, we ourselves inherit a blessing; our God is a blessing God. His heart is to bless people and not curse them, and we are to be imitators of Him.
Titus 3:1-2 also says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” God’s love never fails. When we bless people rather than say negative things about them, God will have an open highway into their lives to bring needed change. God is good; He is gentle and kind; He knows how to change people. Our job is to bless rather than curse.
By “curse,” I don’t mean you necessarily use swear words. Wishing someone ill or misfortune, or talking about how bad they are, complaining to God about them, is cursing them. We need to learn to bless and speak words of life, hope, peace, and healing over them. Kerry Kirkwood, author of the book I mentioned earlier, said he grew up hearing his mom pray for his dad this way: “O Lord, just dangle him over the flames and let him feel the heat of hell.” Kerry says, “And feel it he did, and so did our family! So, one day I asked her, ‘Why don’t you pray the peace of God on him, so we can get some peace ourselves?’ Thank God, she finally did.”
When I feel pained and distressed by someone’s actions or beliefs, I have learned to immediately pray, “Father, I bless _______________ with health, strength, long life and good days. I bless them to receive Your goodness and help; I bless their eyes to be opened to the truth that they may have the joy of the Lord.” You know what? The first person to be changed is me. But as I bless, I sense the Lord’s pleasure, and I have a peaceful heart.
Now think of the person (including political figures) who irritates, angers, or saddens you the most. Bless them continually and watch God work!
Copyright © Elaine Beachy 2018