One day I had a revelation: When Jesus blessed the children, they were blessed!
Okay, I know that sounds obvious, but bear with me a moment while I explain. If Jesus walked into a room, blessed two of the people there, then walked out again, we would expect those two people’s lives to take a turn for the better from that moment on, wouldn’t we?
In other words, when Jesus blessed people, it was not a case of wishing the best for them, or even speaking a few nice words to make them feel well. Nor was it a superstitious act or a magic spell. Instead, it was a divine declaration that had the power to change the direction of a life. In short, there was power in the blessing that Jesus spoke: when Jesus blessed the children, they were blessed!
This is the Jewish understanding of blessing: it invites God’s presence to come to that person or into a situation. As we pray blessings over our children, we are inviting God to fulfil His will for their lives. You can hear my Dad talking about this in episode 2 of At Home with God. Click here to watch.
Psalm 127 verse 3says this: “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”
No matter how you felt when you found out you were pregnant, the children God gives us are a reward. Whether you were excited, panicked, or anxious, every child is a blessing. Each child is given by God and is precious to Him. The reward of having a child is immense and the blessing of becoming a family is great.
Luke’s account of when Jesus blessed the children is found in Luke 18:15. In this passage Luke does not use the Greek word paidion to describe the children, as might have been expected. Instead, he uses the word brephos. This word means an unborn or a newborn child. How many pregnant ladies were in the queue pushing forward for Jesus to bless their not-yet-born children? If you were there, wouldn’t you have stood in the queue asking Jesus to bless your baby? After all, if Jesus blesses someone, it affects their whole life.
The words of blessing that Jesus spoke over the children were not empty words of well-wishing. Jesus wasn’t saying, “Good luck with your life, I hope it all goes okay.” Instead, He was asking God to bless the children. We know that God answered all of Jesus’ prayers, as Jesus didn’t do anything unless the Father had first told Him to do it (John 5:19). So, these children would be blessed for life, by God, because Jesus had decreed it.
Now imagine if Jesus were to bless your child. Even from the womb they will be blessed for the rest of their lives!
Here then is something practical that we can do to prepare our children for their spiritual future even while they are in the womb. We can ask God to bless them. As we take hold of our responsibility to be warriors on behalf of our children, we can start ministering to them in the womb. With God’s help, not only will our families be built, but the whole of society will be affected.
In the womb we encourage parents to pray for a prophetic name to call their baby as a way of blessing your children. You can also lay hands on your bump and pray God’s blessing on them and their future.
As parents we are quick to take notice of the physical health of our children. Let’s also take note of their spiritual wellbeing, right from the beginning, making it easier for them to encounter God from the youngest age and live their lives for Him.
Once children are born, the regular blessings can continue.
Each week the Jews sit together as a family and pray for their children to be blessed. They lay hands on them and speak God’s blessing over them. This blessing is not dependant on circumstances or character; it is not something that has to be earned. Whether their children have behaved or not, excelled at school or failed, made friends or bullied others, week by week they are prayed over to be blessed.
Let’s speak the same blessings over our children and expect God to prepare their paths into the future.