May the Lord Bless!

Read: James 1:19-27

In recent months it has been a blessing to be a part of so many baby/child dedications at our church.  These times are precious when we think about the hope and anticipation of what lies ahead for these children and how they will bless others and make a difference in our world as they live out their lives.

But then we turn on the news and hear about all of the danger and ugliness in our world today.  ISIS, Riots, Earthquakes, Violence, Wars, and the various issues that cause one side to hate and despise the other.  In a recent article by Jen Steiner she was thinking about these things as she looked at her newborn baby peacefully laying in her crib.

She writes…. “Sometimes these precious moments are clouded by reality of the ugliness of our society today…. there are so many things of which we can scared… there are many things in our world that seem hopeless.  Cancer and other diseases strike our loved ones.  Broken families and strained relationships cause hurt and stress.  Our environment deteriorates more and more.  Hate and ignorance lurk everywhere.  Intolerance breeds hate and spite.  I often wonder what kind of a world we have brought our daughter into.”

But then later in the article Jen speaks of the hope of Jesus we have as believers.  As Christians we have the hope of Jesus to turn to when the ugliness of the world seems to overwhelm us. We want our children to bless this world with the hope and peace of Jesus as they grow up but then we often forget to do that ourselves as adults.

In James 1 we are reminded to not merely listen to God’s word, but we are to live it, display it, share it, and do it.  If we want that to be true for our children then it needs to start with us as adults! (can I add a couple more exclamation marks there?) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

During each of the child dedications at our church I prayed a prayer over them that seems fitting for us as adults as well.  Please insert your name at the beginning of this prayer and allow it to shape your daily life and interactions as we live as Christ’s followers in a troubled world.  May the Lord Bless others through you!

(Your Name Here) May the LORD bless your Head, Be always in your thoughts and in your mind.  May you use your gift of intelligence to better the world in which you live.  May the LORD bless your Eyes, so that you see all the good things God has prepared for you.  May you see good and loving people in your life.  May you see beyond the appearances to the heart of those around you.

May the LORD bless your Ears, that you may hear words of love, of forgiveness, of care.  May you always hear the cry of those in need of your love and compassion.  May the LORD bless your Words, that they be gentle and kind, forgiving and filled with laughter. May you speak the LORD’S Words that bring hope into people’s lives.

May the LORD bless your Hands, that they may be open to give and receive, to bless and to build. May your touch be one of healing, of gentleness, of encouragement and care.  May the LORD bless your Heart!  May God’s Spirit continue to dwell in you.  May you know how to Love, to give without counting the cost.  May your friends know peace; May your love, given, received and shared always fill your Heart.  May God’s blessings always be yours so that through you they may always be ours. Amen.

Make it personal:  Please pray this prayer during your devotional time or your time spent with the Lord each day.  May it help to shape you into the Christian and Godly example that we all can be to this world.

May the Lord Bless You!  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church