Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Every believer knows that prayer changes things. It is so easy to pray for ourselves and our loved ones. The usual prayer is for blessings. There is nothing wrong with praying for blessings, but there is a step that should be taken before we start giving God a long list of requests for blessings.
Some people are in the habit of saying, "Bless" a number of times in their prayers.
- "God bless the homeless.”
- “God bless the sick people in the hospital.”
- "God bless those in prison."
We Are Already Blessed
When God created us, He put within us everything we need to live a righteous and successful life. Therefore, we are already blessed. The problem is that we don't know that we are blessed, and we don't live according to the promises God has already laid out for us.
According to the Beatitudes outlined in Matthew 5:1-12, the blessings are for those in the following areas:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit.
- Blessed are those who mourn
- Blessed are the meek.
- Blessed are those who hunger.
- Blessed are the merciful.
- Blessed are the pure in heart.
- Blessed are the peacemakers.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted.
Sometimes people ask you to pray for them without telling you what issue concerns them. Surely, you can pray a generic prayer, but it is more effective to pray a specific prayer as Jesus did. Before just jumping in and praying for someone to be blessed, learn what blessing applies to the person's particular situation.
It is not wise to pray for a blessing on a person while he is in a negative situation. First, pray that the person is healed or delivered from an unpleasant situation before you pray for a blessing. If not, you will be asking for a blessing on top of what ails him. In other words, pray first that he will be set free from the unpleasant issue before a blessing is pronounced.
Follow Jesus' Examples
If this advice has been confusing up to now, let’s examine what Jesus did and learn from Him. Jesus NEVER pronounced a blessing on a person while he had a problem or was in a negative condition.
Before Jesus pronounced a blessing, He first healed the sick, bound up the brokenhearted, cast out demons, and raised the dead. He did those things FIRST and only then did He pronounce a blessing on them.
According to Luke 8:43-47, a woman had an issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent all her money on physicians and could not be healed by any of them. Jesus did not pronounce a blessing on her until she touched the hem of His garment and the flow of blood stopped. Then Jesus pronounced a blessing on her.
"And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace” (Luke 8:38).
Notice the healing came before the pronouncement of the blessing.
Jesus performed miracles on many others as recorded in all four gospels. He didn't pronounce a blessing on any of them until He had moved them out of their sickness, diseases, and ailments. Then He pronounced a blessing on them and sent them on their way. The pronouncement of the blessing came ONLY after Jesus had taken care of their ailments.
We tend to skip that step and quickly ask God to bless someone. During the announcement period in some churches, the leader says, "Bless the sick and shut-ins" without first praying for healing. That means the leader prays for a blessing on the sick and shut-ins while they are still sick and shut-in. Ideally, a prayer for their healing should always come first before the blessing.
A Prayer for Deliverance Should Come Before Praying for a Blessing
Some people pray without paying attention to the order of their prayer. Do not pray for God to bless people before praying for their healing or deliverance first. Do not proclaim a blessing on a negative situation. That is not wise, and it is not the way Jesus did it.
If you say, “God bless that homeless person,” you are blessing the person while he is in an unpleasant situation. Pray him out of his homelessness first. If you say, “God bless my sick relative,” you are asking God to bless that person while she is in an unhealthy condition. You should pray for healing first before you ask for blessings on top of her sickness.
Stop being so quick to pray a generic blessing on people. Stop being so hasty to ask God to bless people in negative conditions. First, pray for their healing or deliverance from their negative condition before praying for a blessing on them.
According to Luke 4:18 . . .
"Preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, and release to the oppressed."
Then and only then should you proclaim a blessing on them.
- The Beatitudes: Ways You Are Blessed
The Beatitudes remind us that we are blessed in certain situations of our lives. Jesus taught the multitudes how they were blessed, and He teaches us how we are blessed.