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DAY 6 – Together in Blessing – Bethel Week of Prayer
Day 6: Together in Blessing

You feel the tingle in your nose…your eyes are watering…you progressively inhale air only to erupt in the loudest sneeze of your life! When all is calm, the person next to you casually says, “bless you.” You politely say, “thank you,” and you both move on. As humorous as that scene may be, if we were to stop for a moment and ask ourselves, what does it mean to bless someone? What would you say? If you’re like me, you may something like, I hope everything goes well for them. Or, I hope what they are working on will turn out right. We often think of blessings as things turning out the way we desire them to be. But is this blessing?

Too often, we think of blessings as financial gain, obedient children, a stable home, or peace among friends. But biblically, a blessing is defined as a genuine relationship with God. Blessings are rooted in knowing God and worshiping him. It is important to view blessings this way because God may not give you the promotion or God may not lead you toward stability. But in the midst of uncertain circumstances, to know the faithful God personally is the greatest blessing.

That is why blessings come in many forms throughout the Bible and in our lives today. Blessings may come in the forms of prosperous work and peaceful relations, or blessings may come in hardship and ruined relations. The key to knowing the blessings of God is to see if you and others are knowing him more. Israel was taught how to measure blessings from God. Perhaps the clearest example is found in the Old Testament. Numbers 6:22-27 says:

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, “Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
‘The
Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.’” So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.’”

This is a beautiful promise of how blessings should be measured. Blessings are measured as you and others know God. The Lord keeping you, shining his face on you, and giving you peace despite the situation are blessings. Your blessing is you communing with God in an intimate relationship. To say this another way, to be blessed is to experience God’s holiness in tangible ways.

This is why sin is so disastrous. Sin brings separation from God. Ironically, sin often presents itself as a blessing that is pleasing to the eye, but it is actually a curse that devours our flesh. Praise the Lord for the gift of Jesus, who has reconciled us back to God and blessed us with every spiritual blessing (see Ephesians 1:3ff).

It’s good for us as a church family to come together in prayer and recognize that as we do so, we are blessed. We are growing deeper in our love for God and faith in him. We are confessing our sins, praising his character, yearning for his glory to expand over every surface. Blessings come in many forms, but they all draw us closer to the heart of God.

Today as we pray, let us consider the ways God has drawn us into a deeper relationship with him. Perhaps we can look with new eyes on what it means to “count your blessings.” Has he been faithful in your sickness? Count it as a blessing. Has he been working through obedient children? Count it as a blessing. Has your deeper relationship with him been forged because of a relational conflict or an estranged child? Even that can be called a blessing, for God has taken something difficult and been near to you. Viewing blessings as a means to know, enjoy, depend on, and pursue God more allows you to see God moving in your life more than he is not. Blessings come through tears of joy and sadness. To pray for blessings is to pray for God to be with us in every circumstance.

PRAYER POINTS:
  • Thank God for the blessings you currently have and consider how you can express your gratitude for them.
  • Thank God for rest today, and for meeting us in prayer, meditation on God’s Word, and fellowship with other believers.
  • Pray for those in our congregation who have taken the next step with Christ through baptism. Thank God for their willingness to publicly declare their love for the Lord.
  • Many people in our church work long hours (perhaps that’s you!). Pray for them to have time with their families and to experience physical rest.
  • Pray for our operations staff to serve faithfully as they steward the finances and facilities of our church. Pray for Dave Harvey, Chad Stooksbury, and Jeff Collins as they oversee these areas.
  • Pray for our ministry partner, the Women’s Center of Northwest Indiana. Pray that God would bless the amazing work they do in protecting the lives of the unborn, and that he would provide them with the resources they need.
  • Pray for the persecuted church in different areas of the world. Ask God to establish laws and regulations in those places that allow believers the freedom to worship and preach the gospel.
  • Pray for our Rooted young adults to grow in Christ and community. Pray for Pastor Andrew Moffitt as he shepherds this ministry.
  • Pray for our Benevolence ministry to meet the practical needs of those in our church and community while bearing gospel fruit. Pray for Stephanie Ward as she leads this ministry.
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