A nightly prayer of blessing can have surprising ripple effects on the faith of your child and in your entire family.
He screamed and clutched me as if monsters were trying to drag him into the pit of hell.
Maybe that’s how he felt.
The first day of kindergarten can be rather rough on a child, but I wasn’t expecting the teachers to have to PEEL my son off me.
I walked into the parent meeting, late, brushing tears off my cheeks.
This parenting gig is hard on the soul.
I find it extra hard to help my eldest with his emotional struggles. He’s a sensitive and creative fellow with an anxious streak a mile long.
I had always hoped that his separation anxiety was more of a trick to induce mommy-guilt than a real, true-blue anxiety, but it turns out I was wrong.
The anxiety was real, and it bled into his entire kindergarten year.
Dropping him off at school was a nightmare, and he cried every.single.morning. His teacher reported that he refused to participate in gym class and he didn’t seem to be making many friends. I also had a 3 year old and a newborn at the time, and it was hard on all of us.
In my work as a Children’s Ministry Director, I had taught a class on speaking blessings over children for the past several years, and in April, the class rolled around again. This year, when I printed off the blessing posters, I brought some home with me and let him choose one that spoke to him the most.
Here’s the prayer he picked:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
In June, it occurred to me that he wasn’t freaking out about attending school anymore. No more tears, no more gym class freak-outs.
And as I thought and prayed about it, I realized that he had started changing in April…when I started praying this blessing over him.
This is just one example of how a simple bedtime prayer of blessing can utterly transform a life.
WHY the Prayer of Blessing is the Simplest (But Most Powerful) Habit
Praying a nightly prayer of blessing over your child is BY FAR the simplest habit you could ever start, but it has an incredible eternal impact.
In fact, I believe that this 30-second habit is a lynchpin habit because it’s so simple.
- Because it’s so simple, it easily becomes part of your bedtime routine.
- Because it’s so simple, it’s not hard to push through the first-time awkwardness.
- Because it’s so simple, you can do it even when you’re tired, sick, or away from home.
- Because it’s so simple, you and your kids will accidentally memorize Scripture.
That sounds wonderful, right? It gets even better.
Since I’ve taught about the prayer of blessing for over 10 years, I have seen the longterm impact it has on families. I’ve seen all of the following:
- Kids falling asleep better and no longer having nightmares.
- Families waking up more rested and integrating a Bible study/prayer time in the mornings.
- Children with learning disabilities memorizing and applying Scripture.
- Children with anxiety learning to release their fears to God.
- Families growing from blessings to a full on Bible study time in the evenings.
I could tell you story after story (and in my free email course, I do!), but let me just share Ashley’s story:
We started the first tiny habit a few months ago. We wanted to start doing devotions with our kiddos but always got sidetracked and could not stay consistent. We had got a family devotional for Christmas and had done maybe 4 lessons in two months.
Then I decided to start the tiny habit of praying scripture blessings over each of our kids. We picked 7 verses, one for each night of the week. The kids loved it and reminded us each night if we forgot.
When COVID started, we decided to add in the devotional we got for Christmas one night a week, but it quickly turned into every night and now just a few months later the kids have the blessing scriptures memorized and love reciting them with us each night (and have even asked for some new ones to learn!) And we have finished going through our entire devotional together and have now bought a second devotional to go through!
The kids look forward to it each night and so do we!! I am so shocked at how well the tiny habits work!Ashely H.
I have seen families change in huge ways because of this tiny little habit, because it is like a pebble thrown into the water – its ripples continue changing lives, far beyond the initial habit.
What IS a Prayer of Blessing?
Numbers 6:22-27 isn’t the only prayer of blessing you could pray over your kids, but it does give some fabulous insight into the practice of praying blessings over others:
The Lord said to Moses,Numbers 6:22-27 NIV
“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“‘The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.'”
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
God literally COMMANDED the Israelite priests to speak these words over the community. Why?
It’s certainly not a magic spell or incantation that guarantees a good life, and it’s not a pipeline to health and prosperity, but there are three keys that we learn from this passage in Numbers.
3 Keys to the Power of the Blessing:
1) The Biblical blessing is about God.
It’s not simply a prayer or a wish for your child. Blessing your child is adding to your child’s life by enlisting the support of the Lord God, passing on HIS blessings to your child.
Since God is eternal, and is faithful to do more than all we could ask or imagine, this is a pretty phenomenal partnership.
2) As we bless our kids, God will put his name on them.
Our children will receive a lot of labels in their lives, some innocent and many hurtful, but praying blessings over them can make those labels fall right off.
Just like the nations around Israel knew that they were The People Of Yahweh, your child can be known as The Child of Yahweh.
3) We bless our kids so GOD will bless our kids.
Right there in Numbers 6, God promises that when the leaders prayed over their flock with a blessing from God, he would bless them. What an incredible promise!
God’s blessings are gracious and generous, and have immense power to change the lives of our children forever.
Blessing Prayer Examples:
We aren’t limited to praying Number 6:22-27 over our children. In fact, in my 7-day email series, I send 7 different verse posters with powerful blessing prayer examples, including the one I prayed over my anxious son.
Here are some of my personal favorite prayers of blessing for my kids:
Would you like to learn more about speaking a blessing over your child?
If you want to:
- start a simple faith habit that has the potential to change your family forever,
- understand the power behind the Biblical blessing,
- help your children sleep better,
- and discover how God can release your child from anxiety,
To join, simply click here or on the picture below!
Remember, blessing your child has incredible spiritual impact, but it can’t have an impact if you don’t start doing it. The 7-day challenge will help motivate and equip you to get started on this crazy simple (but utterly transformative) habit!