I have struggled from time to time with whether or not it’s right to pray, “Lord, bless me.” I mean, He has already blessed me with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3), right? But recently I’ve been struck with the times in Scripture where people dared to pray “Lord, bless me,” and God honored their prayer.
Remember Jabez? He prayed that the Lord would bless him and enlarge his territory. God honored his prayer and granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:10). As I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts about asking God to bless me and the ministries I’m involved with, the Lord has brought me to Psalm 67. Ah, what an amazing poetic example of a prayer for blessing! It was sung as a worship song in ancient Israel, and it’s a song that we can echo in our prayers today. After meditating in this Psalm, I believe we absolutely can ask God to bless us.
The Psalmist asks for the Lord to bless for 3 different reasons:
So that we might experience His presence.
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us” (Psalm 67:1).
When we dare to ask God to let us experience His presence, we come face to face with His holiness, and our lives are radically changed. The purpose of this blessing is to know Him and become more like Him! As we create the space to spend time with God, asking that He make His face shine on us, God is pleased. When we ask God to bless us by giving us a deeper experience of His presence, God is delighted! He wants us to know Him and to experience the fullness of His presence.
So that we might praise Him more.
“May the people praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you” (Psalm 67:3).
I often echo the words of the old hymn in my early morning worship times: “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise” When I come face to face with His glory, I long for more words to give Him praise. I ask Him to bless me with the ability to praise Him more. We will be praising Him for all eternity, so I want to get started now. What about you? Will you dare to ask God to bless you by increasing your ability to praise Him?
So that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
“May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him” (Psalm 67:7).
The ultimate purpose to ask for God’s blessing is not for our own comfort or honor. It’s to bring God glory. To increase HIS fame to the ends of the earth. God’s plan for your life and mine is that He might make Himself known through us. Crazy, huh? You would have thought God would have come up with a better plan for making Himself known since we often mess up, right? But God chooses to make His glory known through our humanity. It’s miraculous!
Take a few minutes and read Psalm 67 out loud slowly. Then bow before the King of all Kings and pray this prayer: Lord, would you bless me? Bless me so that I might experience your presence more fully. Let me know you face to face like Moses. Bless me by teaching me how to praise you even more. Show me what it looks like to praise you continually. Lord, bless me and any ministry I’m involved with so that your name might be made known even to the ends of the earth. Bless me by expanding my influence, not for my glory but for yours! I pray that you will make yourself known through me; may the ministries I’m involved with yield fruitfulness and a great harvest. Lord, I will give you all the praise, glory, and honor, because it’s yours alone.
Steve and I are in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Steve will be speaking at Gull Lake Bible Conference.
I will be at the Baker House Book store on Tuesday, July 9. If you’re in the area, drop by and say hi!
Mid-week I’ll be flying to California to be with our youngest daughter and her family.
How you can pray?
Please pray for fruitfulness for Reach Beyond. For Steve as he speaks.
Please pray for me as I continue to set up my schedule for the Fall and for 2020. Pray specifically that God will open the right doors.