by Michael Brennan
Our ‘Western’ brand of Christianity has a catch 22 in our approach to prayer. We tend to value spontaneous prayer over form prayers. Specifically, those prayers we pray over our children and grandchildren.
We have little difficulty speaking those prayers from our hearts, so they naturally tend to be full of our spontaneous passion and concern. Our orthodox Jewish brothers, however, prayer just the opposite. Their natural tendency in prayer for their families is to prayer form prayer from a seder book, specifically Torah prayers.
For them, God’s words written in the Torah (including the Psalms) are full of His “juice,” so they believe that His words spoken out loud over their children carry far more weight than any “human” words – no matter how passionate. Here lies the “catch 22.”
The prayer that “avails much” is both fervent and effectual. (James 5:16) Certainly, our “from the heart” spontaneous prayers for our children/grandchildren are full of fervency and by all means, touch the heart of our loving Father. But our Jewish brothers make an excellent case for the effectual side of prayer. His “juice” (as I’ve heard them say) is way more effective than ours. So who will deliver us from this catch 22 dilemma?
Perhaps if we are willing to humble ourselves and learn from our Jewish brothers, we might well discover a way to prayer that takes fervent and effectual to a who new place of abundantly beyond availability.
Thus we now turn our attention to what is known to both Christ believers and Jews as the Aaronic Blessing:
“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.”
Here is what we consider to be the end of this great prayer. However, please note the very next verse:
“And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
From these scriptures, we find that Yehovah spoke words over our children and our children’s children. Hidden in this last verse is a power key to praying for our families from the pace of “abundantly beyond availability. We can see that our Jewish brothers have always recognized the Father’s desire that we release these very specific blessings.
Let me engage you in some “What If’s:”
- What if we could “cast” all the deep and passionate fervency we have for our families into the Father’s Care? (Please note that His Care has always been there far before all your cares.)
- What if we could fill our prayers with the full effects of the Father’s “rivers of living water” through the blessing of His word?
- What if we began to train ourselves “by practice” to release the “solid food’” of the Father over our families daily?
- What if we got into the habit of consistently declaring the Father’s Bless, the Father’s Protection, the Father’s Light, the Father’s Grace, the Father’s lifting up, and the Father’s peace (shalom) over our children and our children’s children?
- And, what if our “catch 22” dilemma turned into “His will on earth (for our families) as it is in Heaven?”
What if our “What If’s” became instead “Yes & Amen!”
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying,
This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.
Numbers 6:22-27 (NKJV)
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