He screamed and clutched me as if monsters were trying to drag him into the pit of hell. Maybe that’s how he felt. The first day of kindergarten can be rather rough on a child, but I wasn’t expecting the teachers to have to PEEL my son off me. I had prayed a blessing over my child for his first day and this wasn’t even on my radar.
I walked into the parent meeting, late, brushing tears off my cheeks.
This parenting gig is hard on the soul.
I find it extra hard to help my eldest with his emotional struggles. He’s a sensitive and creative fellow with an anxious streak a mile long.
I had always hoped that his separation anxiety was more of a trick to induce mommy-guilt than a real, true-blue anxiety, but it turns out I was wrong.
The anxiety was real, and it bled into his entire kindergarten year.
Dropping him off at school was a nightmare, and he cried every.single.morning. His teacher reported that he refused to participate in gym class and he didn’t seem to be making many friends. I also had a 3 year old and a newborn at the time, and it was hard on all of us.
In my work as a Children’s Ministry Director, I had taught a class on blessing your child for the past several years, and in April, the class rolled around again. This year, when I printed off the blessing posters, I brought some home with me and let him choose one that spoke to him the most.
Here’s what he picked:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
Oh my heart. So I started praying this verse over him nightly, rather than the basic blessing I’d been using since birth.
In June, it occurred to me that he wasn’t freaking out about attending school anymore. No more tears, no more gym class freak-outs. And as I thought and prayed about it, I realized that he had started changing in April…when I started praying this blessing over him.
Have you ever intentionally prayed blessings over your child?
It’s such a simple thing, but it has enormous spiritual implications.
Numbers 6 gives us some fabulous insight into the practice of praying blessings over others:
The Lord said to Moses,
“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
I have seen families change in huge ways because of this tiny little habit, because it is like a pebble thrown into the water – its ripples continue changing lives, far beyond the initial habit.
Why is that? Why do Biblical blessings have such an impact? There are three keys that we learn from this passage in Numbers.
3 keys to the Biblical blessing:
1) The Biblical blessing is about God.
It’s not simply a prayer, or a wish for your child. Blessing your child is adding to your child’s life by enlisting the support of the Lord God, passing on HIS blessings to your child.
Since God is eternal, and is faithful to do more than all we could ask or imagine, this is a pretty phenomenal partnership.
2) As we bless our kids, God will put his name on them.
Our children will receive a lot of labels in their lives, some innocent and many hurtful, but praying blessings over them can make those labels fall right off.
Just like the nations around Israel knew that they were The People Of Yahweh, your child can be known as The Child of Yahweh.
3) We bless our kids so GOD will bless our kids.
Right there in Numbers 6, God promises that when the leaders prayed over their flock with a blessing from God, he would bless them. What an incredible promise!
God’s blessings are gracious and generous, and have immense power to change the lives of our children forever.
Would you like to learn more about how to bless your child?
I have created a completely free email series for you that explains each of the three points deeper, talks about how blessing our kids can release anxiety and help children sleep better, and even gives free printable posters for 7 Biblical blessings.
To join, simply click here!
Remember, blessing your child has incredible spiritual impact, but it can’t have an impact if you don’t start doing it. So take advantage of this challenge and begin today!
This article originally appeared at Christie’s blog.