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There is a long standing Jewish tradition of praying blessings over God's people. The blessing wasn't a promise of a perfect life but a reminder that a perfect God was on their side.

This topic is adapted from the Focus on the Family YouTube channel.

There is a longstanding Jewish tradition of elders and leaders praying blessings over God’s people. The blessing wasn’t a promise of a perfect life, but a reminder that a perfect God was on their side (Deuteronomy 28).

God started the tradition of blessing his children (Genesis 1:28). He started with Adam and Eve the tradition reached the Levite priests. The point of the blessing was to remind the people that the holy God of the universe had claimed them as his own. The blessing gave the people hope, protection, and value. The blessing wasn’t a promise of a perfect, life but a reminder that a perfect God was on their side.

Numbers 6:24-26 May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

[Related: Why Pray if God Knows Everything Anyway?]

We Should Pray Blessings over Our Kids

God demonstrated his love for his children by blessing them and declaring them as his own. He spoke words of love and redemption over the early patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. He has spoken blessings over all of us through the Bible and ultimately through Jesus Christ. His words give us hope, protection, and value. If God felt it important to pray over his people, we should find value in praying over our kids. They need to know how important they are to us and that we care about their future.

[Related: 5 Habits for the Christian Life]

The Daily Ritual Is Meaningful

The Israelite priests would pray this same blessing every morning in the temple. The ritual served as a constant reminder of who they were and that God was the one they should rely on. Praying this same blessing over our kids on a daily basis is a great reminder for us, too. For parents, it’s good to always pray for God’s protection over our kids, that they may grow to delight in the Lord. Make a point to do this every night before you put your kids to bed or in the morning as they leave for school. Your kids need the prayers, and this positive habit will provide them comfort and stability.

It’s Not a Promise for a Perfect Life

We can’t misunderstand the point of the blessing. God didn’t guarantee a perfect life for Abraham or Moses, and he doesn’t promise one to us. What God did promise, and still does, is that he is with us in everything. He will not forget us or forsake us. When we pray this blessing over our kids, we have to remember that even the hard times can be a blessing. Our job isn’t to demand what we want from God, but rather to trust that God will work all things for our kids’ good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

[Related: Will God Really Give Me a Good Life?]

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Why do words of blessings help our kids? Why do hurtful words cut so deeply?
  3. Why do you think God wants to bless his children? How has he blessed you?
  4. Do you have other habits you do with your kids? Explain.
  5. How could praying a blessing over your kids everyday impact you and your kids?
  6. Read Romans 8:28. How can the hard stuff in life be for our good? Do you have an example of from your own life to share?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Adapted from theFocus on the Family YouTube channel. Written content by Daniel Martin.