The Power of a Blessing
The act of blessing has been on my heart recently – specifically, blessing others with my words, especially my husband, children and friends (but strangers aren’t exempt). It’s something I’ve been aware of, but recently it’s been as if God has been placing His finger on its importance.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The Message translation states it even more clearly, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” Yikes! I think I’ll choose life, thank you very much!
We’re certain to send our kids to school with a good breakfast and lunch, kisses and hugs, maybe a prayer, but do we intentionally BLESS them? When we kiss our spouse on the way out the door, do we help shape their day by the words we speak over them?
I remember a time when my middle son came to give me a hug before leaving for his day’s classes at KSU, I asked if he’d gotten the laundry folded that he’d promised he’d do and when he said he hadn’t, I launched into a mini discussion about fulfilling household responsibilities. That intended sweet goodbye initiated by my son became a huffy and swift departure. I don’t blame him!
It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I had just set the course for my son’s day with my words.
Words have tremendous power – much more than we often realize. Think back to a cutting remark made in high school or a critical word spoken to you by a parent and how that shaped you into adulthood. Then, think of a time when someone said exactly what you needed to hear, even if you hadn’t realized you’d needed to hear it – how it encouraged you, made the impossible seem possible, helped you to believe in yourself far more than you previously had.
“Winsome words spoken at just the right time are as appealing as apples gilded in gold and surrounded with silver.” (Prov. 25:11, TPT)
The Bible has a lot to say about the power of the tongue and the words that we speak. Think of it - all of creation was formed through the spoken word. That should give us an indication of the weight our words hold in the world around us, especially in the lives of those we love, as well as our own. Through our spoken words, we have the ability to CREATE. It doesn’t mean that we won’t face challenges, but through our words we can determine whether those challenges are going to result in victory or defeat.
In my mind, it all boils down to blessing – ourselves and others. In doing that, we set the atmosphere and determine the course of our day; not only ours, but our spouses, kids, and those we love. So much has been written about the effects of negative self-talk and how we can transform our lives by changing the way we speak and think. “…Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34b, NKJV) Our thoughts shape our words. Sometimes we can’t bless because we can’t think of anything good in the midst of our circumstances and relationships.
So, how do we bless? Look at the definition of blessing for some clues. A blessing is God’s favor and protection. It’s a thing conducive to happiness and welfare. What do you want to shape and form that’s good? Declare that.
It can be something as simple as, “You are loved and I’m so thankful for you. I think you’re amazing! Today is an awesome day marked by success!”
You can also use God’s words by speaking and praying blessings and promises from the Bible. Not sure where to begin? Search online for words of blessing found in the Bible, then turn them into prayers and prophetic declarations as you speak them out over yourself and others. I often pray over my family that they’re “well favored by God and by man” (1) and that they “have the mind of Christ and can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.” (2) I thank God that He surrounds each of them with His angels to “protect and uplift them so that they don’t even strike their foot against a stone” (3) and I declare that the plans that God has for them are “for good and not for evil, for a future and a hope.” (4)
This morning, I sent this as a text to my husband, “I bless you in all that you do and in the work of your hands and I decree success over you. I love you! Your angels go with you and work on your behalf and protect you! Your God fights for you. He chose YOU!” That was very different than my son’s send off!
Our Old Testament forefathers understood the power of a blessing and how it was a prophetic declaration spoken over generations to come. Look at the blessings spoken over their children by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and how devastated Esau was to realize that the blessing that was to be his had been stolen by his younger brother. Blessings are important – not only at the end of a person’s life, but every day.
There are so many times throughout our day that we can bless others and ourselves, beginning with words of gratitude. The small and simple things can transform a marriage and the atmosphere in a family. Noticing when something has been done and thanking them for it – even if it’s for taking the garbage out, letting them know that they’re appreciated, are words of blessing. Don’t wait for them to do it. Let it begin with you and see the difference that it makes.
What would it look like for you to dedicate 21 days to intentionally blessing your spouse, your kids, your friends, yourself??? What could happen if you did?
“May He give you the desire of your heart and make your plans succeed.” (Ps. 20:4)
1. Prov. 3:4
2. I Cor. 2:16 & Phil. 4:13
3. Ps. 91:12
4. Jer. 29:11
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same