May God be merciful and bless us. May his face shine with favor upon us. Interlude Psalms 67:1 (NLT)
We often pray, God bless me, Lord give me your favor. This is so close in how we should pray, yet, it misses the mark by miles. Often, there is too much of me and not enough of we in my prayers.
Moses, in the midst of Israel’s rebellion (Numbers 14:1-20), was given the opportunity by the Lord to be rid of this complaining people. God said that he would disown and destroy his people with a plague and make Moses into a greater nation than they were.Moses responded by reminding God of his love and mercy and asked Him, “Please pardon the sins of this people” (v. 19). Moses could have had it all for himself, but he chose to share the blessing.
The Psalmist prays with and for God’s people. God’s love never takes place in isolation and neither does his blessing. The Psalmist then prays that the blessing would be extended to others outside the household of God. True love is never held onto but is always given away. God’s love in us always becomes more inclusive, in the right sense of the word.
When we just pray, God bless me, it’s the first step in losing the blessing. God’s love never has boundaries. When we try to limit it, it always starts to wane. God’s Word tells us to love others as we love ourselves. Praying me has limited power; praying we benefits all concerned. God model prayer, which we call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 NLT) tells us four times to pray for us and not just me. Lord. help me do love others as much as I love myself. God, I know you have a long way to go with me in answering this prayer. Don’t hold onto the blessing, give it away.
Pray we instead of just me.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing
website: Ken Barnes’ Book Site