If I were to ask you what the verb “bless” means in Hebrew terms, what might you say? Would your initial thoughts include having a primary notion of bending, breaking, as in breaking down? Bending and breaking would not be words I would list to describe what it means to bless. I would think more in terms of receiving a gift I wanted. Yet, in the Strong’s Concordance, bless is an act of adoration that causes you to kneel and bless.
From God to us, you see that when He blesses, there is a divine multiplication and eternal impact that follows. But before heading in that direction, what part does blessing the Lord play in our prayers?
In scripture we are told to “bless the LORD”. In preparing this blog I realized modern translations like the NIV have replaced the occurrences of this phrase. It now appears as “praise the Lord”. I don’t think I like the revision; it changes body posture. Praise focuses on extending hands; blessing emphasizes bending and breaking, being on your knees and can include extending hands.
Nehemiah 8:6 the Amplified version says, “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to the ground.
When is the last time you blessed the Lord with your face to the ground?
In the KJV Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” The Amplified version of Psalm 16:7 says, “I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons.” (Notice the promise of Psalm 16:7, God gives counsel and instructs hearts. This is reason to bless Him!)
It’s a challenge to think of blessing God when it means I bend, break down, kneel in surrender. But this is where true riches are found. Yet many of us are not willing to bend and break. In terms of prayer, this may well be where we have power cords disconnected from Heavenly presence.
We want what we want; we have our terms. We feel entitled and focus too much on wanting blessing, versus blessing the LORD because He deserves it. There are many invitations the Holy Spirit will impress on our hearts, opportunities to bless the LORD by bending to His will, breaking down and conforming to His way. If only we would! It has great possibility to bring surprise visits of fellowship and favor!
We see a surprise visit in Genesis chapter 14. In this chapter, AFTER Abram selflessly risks his life and the lives of his servants to save his nephew Lot from enemy capture, he is visited by a supernatural being known as Melchizedek. We are told Melchizedek is priest of God Most High and came to BLESS Abram. He does so not merely with words of blessing; but by bringing Abram a fellowship offering of bread and wine.
During the supernatural visit, Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of the possessions captured in battle. He now has 90% left. Does he keep it assuming it as blessing? No.
He could have kept it. Why not? After all, Melchizedek just pronounced he was blessed by God Most High, Genesis 14:18. The king of Sodom even gave Abram permission to keep the 90%, Genesis 14:21! Yet Abram tells him, “I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ It seems Abram craved the heavenly visitation that came with bread and wine as satisfying above and beyond the riches of a pagan king. In these terms, Abram was kneeling before God in worship, not a pagan king. This is blessing God.
Immediately after, the Lord comes to Abram in a vision, see Genesis 15. NEVER TO BE OUTDONE, now it is the LORD who will bless Abram. The LORD offers Abram a blessing above and beyond his wildest imaginations. He blesses and multiplies Abram’s seed telling him that not only will he have a miracle son; his offspring will be multiplied beyond the stars in the sky. He seals a covenant with Abram, confirming the Lord’s friendship, offering divine protection, promising great reward, promising a son from his own flesh. He eternally solidifies Abram as father of all who believe by faith. God seals his word under a blood covenant bringing fire from Heaven via a smoking firepot and blazing torch. This is God’s reaction to Abram’s choice to bless his God! WOW!
Abram did not want what the world offered. Neither was he “working” God for a blessing. He wanted the bread and wine and heavenly fellowship more!
How about you? How about me? Would you have given the 10% to Melchizedek? Would you have released the 90%?
We have our own Melchizedek visit in Christ. Christ comes with bread and wine too, offering covenant fellowship. Our holy God, also blesses us by breaking and kneeling. It’s an uncomfortable picture; but one we must see. Christ our Messiah blessed us by breaking and surrendering. His body is the broken bread and his blood is poured out wine, Luke 22:19-20. As a result, we are eternally blessed, part of the blessing God promised to Abraham.
Galatians 3:14- He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
How do we respond? Do we long more for the One who comes to eat and drink with us or do we long more for wealth and power and the honor of earthly kings? Are we breaking and bending, kneeling to bless? The King of kings kneels at our feet willing to wash off the dirt of our day, to serve us even though He is our Master. He is asking us to bend to His will, to go and do likewise. If we do, we will be blessed, John 13:1-17.
2 challenges for blessing… One, spend some time on your knees in prayer, lay yourself out face to the ground. Bless him with a heart that bends and breaks and kneels out of holy awe and respect. Let him wash your feet, addressing the sins that need cleansing. See if your relationship with God thrives as a result. (Try the audio meditation as a way to begin a time of prayer with Him! See Meditation page)
Two, spend an extend time with Him! Our God responds to those who choose Him above all. The meditations are opportunities to choose Him over other activities, to prefer His presence and fellowship. You have 2 opportunities, one next Tuesday and another on Thursday June 23rd. Sign up on the calendar page! Hope to see you! The Lord will always out-give your offering, just like he did with Abraham.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!