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What Does it Mean to Pray for Blessing?
I'm on Twitter. I love Twitter. I can send out little soundbites about my day, complain about aches and pains or the weather, or make little jokes, and get instant feedback. It's fun!

And I have a lot of followers, and I follow quite a few. Yesterday this Tweet came across the board from a certified Life Coach. She said:

Start by blessing yourself. “May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.”
I thought this was interesting. I'm speaking at a retreat as you read this (I actually wrote this post and scheduled it to appear today), and I'm speaking exactly AGAINST all of those things.

Too often our primary prayers are for our own health, safety, happiness and well-being. And yet that was never what Jesus prayed for his followers, and it wasn't what Paul prayed for his spiritual children.

Sometimes it is only through adversity that we really grow. It's like in Finding Nemo. Remember that scene, near the end of the movie, when dad Marlin is distraught because it looks like he will never be able to rescue Nemo? And Dorrie tries to cheer him up, which makes Marlin even more irritated.

"Don't you understand?!?" he cries. "I promised him that nothing would ever happen to him!". "Well, that's a funny thing to promise," replies Dorrie. "Because if nothing ever happened to him, then nothing would ever happen to him."
I think there's a lot of spiritual wisdom in that fish. The point is not what happens to us in life; it's how we respond, and whether we allow God to turn it into good. And that's the attitude that Paul takes. He prays that God will help the Ephesians to understand how long and high and wide and deep is the love of Christ. He prays that they may grow in wisdom and understanding. In Colossians he prays that they may bear fruit in every good work, and they may know the knowledge and wisdom and will of God.

Aren't those things more important? You see, if we understand how much God loves us; if we grow in understanding; if we bear fruit; if we grow in unity and love; then no matter what happens to us, we'll be fine. But if we concentrate our prayers on good things happening, then we not only lose out on opportunities to grow; we also leave ourselves unprepared with bad things do happen.

And the same goes with prayers for our children. Are you consumed for praying for their safety? Are you constantly praying that God will give them good lives? Why not pray, instead, that they may grow in wisdom and understanding? Because if they do that, and if they understand how much God loves them, they'll be fine. They'll soar. They'll fly. No matter the circumstances.

When we worry about circumstances, we become slaves to this life. When we concentrate on God, we actually become free. So stop praying for your own safety and happiness and well-being, and pray for your heart. Of course, there's nothing wrong with asking God for safety at times, but if this is the predominant prayer, you have a problem. Your soul is worth so much more; ask God to nourish it this weekend!

And here's something else you may enjoy: an article I wrote a few years ago on how to Parent without Fear about exactly this topic!

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 8:14 PM , Blogger Shaun and Holly said…

I love this post and have a link to share it on my Blog (hope you don't mind)!

Thanks so much for articulating so well, some things that have been on my heart and mind!!



At 11:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

This post was so encouraging. I come from a faith background, and I still struggle with wanting easy, health & prosperity. But I know in my heart that's not what the Lord promised. But yet, I still struggle. I want to link to this post too, if I may. It's just so encouraging. Thanks.



At 5:38 AM , Anonymous Burning Bushes said…

I love Dori-such a wise little fish. Somehow we've become stuck in the Old Testament types of blessings and missed the blessings that Jesus promised in the Sermon on the Mount. I often forget the new order of things...that blessing is in following Christ and becoming more like Him-and that God will do whatever He must to make that happen.
Working all things for good doesn't mean everything in life turns out great, but that God will use everything, good and bad, to conform us to the image of Jesus. That's the blessing I should be longing for.
Thanks for such a great post.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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