Bless the Lord (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of the post Bless the Lord in the 31-day series Speak Praise. As we saw on Day 6 of this series, I began a new habit with our child that changed my perspective in a profound way.

I mentioned in Part 1 how the Lord was prompting me to add a new element to our habits as a family. Every night when we were tucking in our little girl, we would say our prayers as usual, but I felt compelled to focus on more than our requests. I began praying blessings over her, prayers of thanksgiving for God’s grace in our lives and giving us the gift of a child.

Just as our Heavenly Father rejoices over his children (see Zech3:17), I was learning how to love my child with God’s love and allow him to heal the brokenness in my heart.
At first when we were having a lot of exhausting days with tantrums and meltdowns it was really hard for me to have the right attitude and words of thanksgiving.
It started small. “Thank you, God, for making my girl so strong.” I praised God for the character trait that was causing us the most grief–her strong will–because I knew it was a gift and that one day God would develop her character as he intends (see Phil1:6, Jer29:11).
With prayers of blessing over our child, we did not see her behavior change immediately, but my heart began to heal and my attitude softened. Gradually as I continued in this daily habit, I had more patience with her, more endurance, and a heart of gratitude for the blessing that she is in our lives.
Bless (verb) to confer or invoke divine favor upon; ask God to look favorably on; express or feel gratitude; to give thanks. (Oxford University Press)

I need to pause here so as not to be misunderstood. I am not saying that the way I prayed had any power to change anyone apart from the work of Jesus. It is only through Christ’s blood that we find forgiveness and healing from sin (see Lev17:11, Heb9:12-14, Rev12:11).

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

In order to bless one another, we need to believe that God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ who is for us. And it is by experiencing God’s grace in our own lives that it spills over into the lives of others.

I heard it from the pulpit one Sunday morning: “You cannot have peace with God until you encounter the grace of God” –Pastor Ed Rae
I had been fighting so hard for peace, when what I needed–what my family needed–was grace. It was when I finally accepted God’s grace through Christ that I stopped battling with myself and fully surrendered. And I was able to receive the blessing of our strong-willed child just as she is: a miracle. A child of God.

The key to igniting change in our relationships is rooted in grace. Where grace abounds, praise erupts!

If you are reading this, maybe you are praying for peace in a relationship with someone you love. Come to Jesus, who pours out grace through his blood and cleanses us from all sin. Rejoice over the people in your life. Pray for them entrusting them into Christ’s hands. Act upon the belief that what God promises in his word is true.

If you are reading my blog for the first time and would like to see other posts in the series Speak Praise, click here. If anything you’ve read here has been a blessing to you, please comment and share with others on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Thank you for reading!

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