A Prayer of Blessing for Our Children

GENESIS 27:28–29…

Isaac’s prayer blessing his son Jacob was not just the prayer of a father concerned for his child’s future prosperity. It was also a prayer meant to pass Abraham’s spiritual inheritance on to its rightful heir (see Genesis 12). Isaac was sure this inheritance was meant to go to his eldest son, Esau; indeed, he thought this was Esau over whom he was saying this prayer. Yet throughout the story of Abraham and his descendants, God shows that this lineage is under his special care and particular choice—it includes children born under impossible odds, and usurping younger sons.

Jacob deceives his father in order to receive the blessing. In some ways, Isaac’s prayer is a prayer we may hope never to pray ourselves—it is the prayer of a man who has been completely fooled. Jacob’s trickery turns the blessing, intended for Esau, completely on its head. And according to the customs of the day, these words could not be taken back. A blessing given was a blessing received; nothing could change the words once they had been spoken.

But in his special purposes for Abraham’s family, God uses even misguided prayers. We may hope never to be fooled as Isaac was in our petitions to God, but we can always be confident that God’s will is done, even when we don’t know or don’t understand what we are praying for.

The impulse to pray for God’s blessing on our children is very strong. One of the major reasons many people have for returning to regular Christian discipline, including prayer, is a desire for their children to flourish in a Christian home and community.
This prayer should help us focus on the most important blessing we can ask for our children. Isaac prays that God will bless his son by making him an heir of the covenant God made with Abraham. Material prosperity is a sign of this covenant, but not the center of it. Central to the covenant is the promise that Abraham and his descendants will be God’s chosen people and will be redeemed from sin and death by Jesus. Our prayers for our children should not be for material wealth, but for the spiritual wealth of adoption into Abraham’s family through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Father in heaven, I pray Your richest blessing upon my child. I pray that You will give rich spiritual blessings all the days of his/her life. If it is Your will, I also pray for success and prosperity in whatever he/she endeavors to do for You. Give the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of Your blessings so that he/she can, in turn, bless others.

written by Jim Wilhoit

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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