Blessing others

A friend has sparked my interest in blessing others.

For some months, she has made a practice of blessing members of her extended family in daily prayers.  She says she has seen some unexpected answers to prayer since she started this practice.  In one case, a long-lost step-sister got in touch with her and they have since spent happy times together.

I have started doing this recently and what I find is that I am blessed when I bless others.

It is almost as if God says: “I am pleased when you bless others.”

I am sure that the apostle Paul knew the personal benefit of blessing others when he wrote in Romans 12:14: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Blessing those who persecute us runs counter to everything a normal human being feels.  It is much easier to bless people we like.  But, hard as it may be to bless persecutors, I am sure the end result is the same – God is pleased and he pours out his joy on us.

In this sense, blessing brings about a change of heart.  And it brings us joy.

I am not sure what happens in the spiritual realm when we bless others.  I cannot prove it – or point to Biblical support – but I believe it brings about good.  In the case of persecution, it frees us from bitterness and anger.  Bitterness and anger can create a personal prison.  It may be that, in so doing, we are freeing others from a prison of our own creation.

What about blessing people we like?  It must bring about good, too.  It is a prayer that God pour out his goodness on others.  And he loves doing that.

Over the years, my wife and I have prayed for our children and grandchildren and God has swamped us with blessings.  But I have not made a steady, regular practice of asking God to bless other people.  My prayers have focused more on dealing with a particular problem or urgent need.

A few days ago, I spent some time praying through our church telephone list, asking God to bless the people I knew in particular ways.  And I prayed his blessing in more general ways on those I didn’t know.  I am not sure what God did in those circumstances.  But I felt lighter and more joyful in my heart.  It raised my spirits and increased my faith that God is at work in their lives.

I believe God is prompting me to make this a regular practice – for my good and for the good of others.

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