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Blessing Hands

“Then Jesus took the children in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

When my husband Rick and I had our first child dedicated, we received a book as a gift from our church. In The Family Blessing, author Rolf Garborg wrote about the daily practice of blessing his children before bedtime using a benediction found in Numbers 6:24-25. As my husband began to read the book, he said, “I’m going to do this.”

Through their early years, our three sons heard their father say every night, “Go, get ready for bed and I’ll come and give you ‘the blessing.’” Once they had climbed into bed, Rick climbed the stairs, went to each one’s room, put his hand on their foreheads, and then said,

“{Child’s name}, may the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

The day’s last event was a consecration of a father placing his blessing hand upon his children. Whatever the day had brought, the blessing prayer closed down the day in the gentlest of ways and re-placed our sons into the safe…

…and loving arms of God.

This is the last image Jesus left His followers before He went to Heaven, too.

Luke 24:50-51 tells us that Jesus “led His followers as far as Bethany, and He raised His hands and blessed them … and while He was blessing them, He was separated from them and carried into Heaven.”

Not only did Rick’s blessing realigned our belief that God held the infinite power to bless, but also, “the blessing” felt like a cloak of protection, that everything was in God’s hands while we were away from one another.

In the summer of 2011, I had the privilege to meet Carlton Garborg, Rolf’s son, at a coffee shop. I told him the story about how his father’s book impacted our family. He couldn’t speak for a few minutes. The space between ― the memory of his father’s many “blessings,” and of ours, in the reading of his father’s work and then putting it into practice ― met in a holy moment that only those who have given or received “the blessing” could.

I encourage each mother or father reading this, to practice giving “the blessing” to your children. Your children will never forget it and each night you do this, you will realign yourselves to the knowing that our children ― no matter how long we are earthly near them ― are truly a precious gift from God, the Father of all blessings.

Question:  Do you have a special “blessing” routine already established?  Share your comment by clicking here.

AboutJulie Saffrin

Julie is the author about the power of gratitude called BlessBack®: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life as well as numerous articles and essays. She received her bachelor's degree in print journalism and English from the University of St. Thomas. She divides her time between her home in Minneapolis and her Adirondack chair at her cabin on a lake in Ottertail County with her husband Rick, sons Sam, Joe and Jake, and a golden retriever named Mick.
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Comments

  1. Audrey says:

    Dear Julie,

    I, too, blessed our children with this same prayer. When my daughter had sleepovers, I even asked her friends if they wanted to “be blessed”. Most of them did!

    Both of our children are grown and married now. When my daughter or my daughter-in-law spend the night, they still want to “be blessed”! Our daughter-in-law is expecting our first grandchild in December, and I hope that she and our son will pass on this beautifully important tradition.

    Blessings,
    Audrey

    1. Audrey,
      I love that you passed giving the blessing along to your daughter’s friends when she had sleepovers! Thanks for leaving a comment.
      Blessings upon you, too.
      Julie Saffrin

  2. Carol Yonts says:

    I haven’t begun the daily blessing yet and love the idea. I do prayers every night with my 5 year old and if I miss a night, he reminds me that we need to do his prayers. It is so neat to see him growing in the Lord.

    1. Carol,
      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment in your busy day. So appreciative. I love that you pray with your child – and how cool that he reminds you too, to stay on track with his spiritual growth and prayer life. You are doing some great modeling, Carol. May God bless you richly.

  3. Sylvia says:

    As a new mom and first time mom, this is profound and precious, Julie!!! I will try to pray this to my little Samuel every night from now on. We pray together every day right now (well, I pray, he listens, since he’s only 11 weeks old), but I’d love for him to know this prayer. Having Sam know and love the Lord is top priority in raising him. Thanks!!!

    1. Sylvia, So glad you stopped by today – you made my day. My firstborn was a Sammy too! :-) You are instilling values and a way to go in life that God will bless you for! Congratulations on your new baby!
      Julie Saffrin

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