Going Deeper: Do “Blessings” work?

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

What a beautiful blessing from Paul. His blessing reflects what most of us need at almost any given time: joy, peace, hope. This does seem to be an appropriate way to bless/pray over those going through difficult times. I know this is how I pray them.

Is there any power released when one “blesses” another as Paul did in verse 13? Or is it nothing more than a prayer, wishing the other person well? Nothing wrong with that.

Priests bless parishioners… and this seems to mean something special for them. Is there anything special if and when I bless someone, is it different than when I pray for them? Some streams of faith end their services with a pastoral benediction or blessing. Does this do any good? Does this mean anything special… it’s nice and all… but can one man impart blessing upon another, or is it the one persons (the one doing the blessing) hope that the other (the one being blessed) will be blessed by God Who can sometimes seem arbitrary in handing out blessings, at least the blessings we want? I know I want to believe there is something to “blessings” even if I cannot prove it.

It does not seem that the power or blessing of God is something we have the power to release at will as if it were matter of snapping one’s fingers. But on the other hand there does seem to be a partnering between God and us to bring power and blessing to others. I think the trouble comes when we teach people that this (the release of God’s power or blessing) can happen like the turning on of the faucet. Still… words of blessing express love and faith so even if nothing happens other than that, giving a blessing has not been a waste of time.

Question: When was the last time you prayed a blessing over someone, or spoke a blessing over someone? Why not look for an opportunity this week to bless someone, maybe even using Paul’s words of blessing from Romans.


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