How should I share spoken blessings with children?
All of us have opportunities to bless children. If you are a parent, God has given you the responsibility to teach your children the ways of God. (See Deuteronomy 6:6–7.) Giving a spoken blessing can be a tool in this training. Even if you aren’t a parent, you have many opportunities to touch children’s lives with words of blessing. Blessing children is like putting them into the arms of Jesus, to receive His special attention.
Speaking words of blessing not only will train a child in righteousness as he hears the Word of God in your words, but your blessing will encourage him to look for the manifestation of those blessings in his life. God can build a child’s faith through your spoken blessings.
Blessing Children Is God’s Idea
According to the record of Scripture, our heavenly Father has blessed His children from the very beginning: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (Genesis 5:1–3, emphasis added). When children were brought to Jesus, “he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Carefully Compose a Blessing
Whether for your own child or for a child whom God has brought into your life, you should ask the Lord to show you how he or she needs to be blessed. As you discern God’s desires for the child in a particular area or even in general terms, take the initiative to compose a blessing.
Faithfully pray those words of blessing for the child. Offer those prayers to God as a sacrifice, the fruit of your lips, and give thanks to God. “By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15–16).
It may please the Lord for you to share your written blessing with the child. As the child sees how you are praying for him, he will be encouraged, and the Lord may use your blessing to inspire him to realize or seek the Lord’s will with new hope and joy.
In Luke 18:1, the Scripture records that Jesus “spake a parable . . . [teaching] that men ought always to pray, and not to faint [fail in heart].” Be diligent to pray the blessing for the child, and trust God to bring it to pass. (See Psalm 37:3–5, Galatians 6:9, and Proverbs 15:23.)
Include the Scripture references on which the blessing is based, so that you will be able to easily recall the sources of your spoken blessings and know with confidence that you are praying according to God’s will. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14–15; see also John 14:12–17).
As you intercede according to the Word of God, your faith in God will be strengthened too. God’s Word is active and powerful and always accomplishes God’s purposes. (See Hebrews 4:12 and Isaiah 55:8-11.)
Be Alert to Specific Needs
The Lord may impress upon your heart a particular way to pray for the child or children, or you may need to search the Scriptures for guidance about what to request on their behalf. For example, if you know that the child is struggling with a lack of peace, the Holy Spirit may lead you to intercede for him with the truths found in Philippians 4:7–9.
The sample blessing below is for a child named Shawn.
Heavenly Father, in the name of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, bless Shawn with your peace, which passes, that is, excels above and is superior to, all understanding, all human intellect. Thank you for your promise to protect his heart—his thoughts and feelings—and his mind—his perception and purpose—through Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. Give Shawn Godly wisdom with which to perceive and evaluate each circumstance. Bless Shawn with grace and mercy to put his trust in you each day.
Father, would you give grace to Shawn to think about, to focus on, whatsoever things are true; your Word is true. May he think about whatsoever things are honest, that is, honorable. May Shawn think about whatsoever things are just, things that are right and holy. Give Shawn grace to think on things that are pure and lovely and of good report. Give him wisdom to choose to walk with virtue and excellence, making commendable decisions.
As Shawn learns how to walk in faith and wisdom, receiving those virtues as a gift from your hands, fill him with your peace. Guide Shawn in paths of righteousness, and send mature believers to encourage him and exhort him and guide him through their words and actions. Thank you, Father, for your promise to be with Shawn and to give him peace. Teach him how to walk in your peace daily. Amen.(See Philippians 4:7-9; Hebrews 3:13, 10:22-25, 12:2; Psalm 23:3, 118:8-9; and James 1:2-8.)
The Lord may make you aware of a child’s specific needs. For example, one day you may notice an ambulance in your neighbors’ driveway. Upon investigation, you may learn that their child has had a series of seizures and has been admitted to the hospital.
In that case, especially if you don’t know the family well, you could use a concordance to look up pertinent verses that speak of healing and health, comfort and mercy. If you are not certain that the child is saved, you also could look up verses about salvation. As the Lord impresses you with words of blessing for the child, write them down in the form of a prayer.
You may even be led to write out the blessing, as well as the Scriptures, for the family and then take a copy of the blessing to their home or to the hospital. The potential for influencing that family in Christ’s name is unlimited. Whether or not the Lord leads you to contact the family directly, your intercession will honor God and be a channel of God’s love and mercy toward the child and his family.
Your Blessings Will Bear Good Fruit
Blessing children is God’s idea. May the Lord give you an attentive spirit as He places in your life children whom He wants to bless through you. Speak words of blessing upon them as you intercede for them. If you are able to share the blessing verbally with the child, ask God to prepare your heart and his heart to understand and fulfill God’s plan and purposes for the blessing. Pray the words of blessing in faith, knowing that “with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
This article is adapted from The Power of Spoken Blessings.