May 2013 – The Proactive Power of Giving a Blessing

During the month of May I have been busy researching and editing video footage for the pseudonym “Penteleaks” and came across some memories that stirred my emotions deeply.

There are some events in life’s journey that remain fresh in your memory no matter how old you are. 

As I looked back, I have had some incredible adventures in life including visiting and preaching in the last frontiers of this world in the upper reaches of the Sepik river of Papua New Guinea. I met with people that had never seen a white man before let alone heard the Gospel. One day I hope to convert the old 8mm Kodak film of fellow missionary Bob Spence and show you some of the nomadic jungle dwellers that we encountered. It was intriguing to say the least and left an indelible memory.
This spurred me on to reach as many people as possible and spread the blessing of the Good News of Christ. Which brings me to the subject matter I want to touch on in this post.
The Positive Power of Giving and Receiving a Blessing.
As I said earlier one event that effected me more profoundly than any other had to do with blessing. It was perhaps the most moving experience of my life when my wife and I along with other missionaries were the recipients of the love of a people whom we had been called to serve and bless. It was an outpouring of blessing upon us which demonstrated the incredible power of Giving and receiving a Blessing.

It was interesting to observe the reaction of the missionaries as Papua & New Guineans embraced our feet and sobbed with gratefulness, thanking us for bringing the Gospel to their land. What an incredible blessing to bestow upon us. How can I forget it!
It reminded me of the time I was ministering at the Zion Pentecostal Church in Khadki, India, when a little grey haired India woman named Sarabai fell at my feet and began to caress them with her tears. 
She was my Mother’s first convert from the slums of Bhosari near Pune in 1927. She too wanted to bless me, although it was my mother she was thinking about. Again it left a powerful effect upon me!  
One of the most wonderful privileges that you and I as human beings can enjoy on this planet, is the privilege and power of giving and receiving a blessing and I’m not talking about the gracious act of foot washing. I’m talking about the daily privilege each of us have of blessing one another with kind words and deeds each day.
Jesus said “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” We read in Romans 12:14 and 1 Peter 3:9 that we are called upon to Bless others and in blessing others we too receive a blessing.

By blessing I mean to make others feel that they are the recipients of your love and support, which includes God’s love and blessing. It is a pronouncement  in words to confer or invoke Divine favour; to ask God to look favorably on:

One of the most beautiful phrases in the English language that we could do well to use more, is the phrase “GOD BLESS YOU”. Oh I know we use it as a form of greeting or a sort of signature to wind up a speech but dare I suggest, that there is a lot more going for it than you realise.

The other day I was listening to a speech given by the American President Obama after the horrific Tornado had torn through the suburb of Moore in Oklahoma.

Among the comforting words of support that he offered were “MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS AMERICA”.

I often wonder if the day will come when we will hear an Australian Prime Minister use such language when addressing the Australian people? Imagine the significance of “GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS AUSTRALIA”? “Hardly” you say! Well it is my prayer that one day it will happen.

You see I happen to believe that when leaders,  especially Spiritual or Political leaders, invoke the blessing of God something dynamic happens. The Bible says “they are the servants of God” Romans 13:1-7 
Growing up in a Pentecostal church my father always concluded the service with the Benediction and the Doxology. It was a common practice which gave a good conclusion to the Service which the people appreciated.
Naturally when I became a Pastor I followed suite even though the changing contemporary church of today had abandoned the practice. I suspect because it looked too “religious”! I discovered however that giving a Benediction at the end of a Sunday service left the people feeling supernaturally and spiritually blest.
I don’t understand how it worked but frequently people would comment about the phenomena. I called it the “Anointing that comes with the Fathers Blessing”.
I was concerned that the conclusion of our pentecostal services were rather bland at best and lacked impact and significance.
Often I would hear Pastors fumbling for words not knowing how to dismiss or conclude a service properly. At best they would say “Have a great weekend” or “See you tonight”.

Now I’m not here to criticise the contemporary church but rather point out the proactive power of pronouncing a Biblical Blessing upon People. What better time to give it, than at the conclusion of a Church Service! Even a prayer of blessing would be better than nothing.

Some time ago I received this private message via the social media network of facebook. The person concerned has given me permission to use it. It triggered a response in my my heart to write this blog about the Power of Giving & Receiving a Blessing.

Dear Pastor Fred Evans, 

My name is Ingrid and I went to spring street AOG when you were the senior pastor. I don’t expect you to remember me, but I so want to bless you and thank you for what you did for me over those years.

I was 18 or so at the time. I got saved from an entirely non christian background. I came to Spring Street every week and would LOVE it when you would end each service with ‘may the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you His peace.’ 

Today I heard a message (and read in Numbers 6) that God instructed them to pronounce that blessing on the children of Israel and that it would write His name on their lives. I heard this message and broke down and cried with thankfulness that I had a spiritual father who pronounced that blessing over me every week that I was at Spring Street.

THANK YOU for blessing me and for writing the Father’s name on me all those years ago when I knew not what you were doing I am so blessed by you.

I now live on the Sunshine Coast and am active in ministry, missions, serving the community and loving Jesus with ALL my heart. I am walking in the blessing you pronounced over me week after week.Thank you again.

Ingrid Olsen

PS: I pronounced that blessing back over you today, with a grateful heart and tears in my eyes.

Post Script: While I was writing this post my door bell rang. It was a young Japanese student door knocking and raising money for the Special Olympics. As she chatted, I said to her, ‘Im sorry I haven’t got any money to donate but I can give you a blessing’ She looked at me curiously and said “Wish me luck”! I said ‘I’m not sure about luck,  but I can give you something better, my blessing’!

I then asked her if I could pray for her? She nodded respectfully and with that I boldly took her hand and prayed a short prayer of blessing over her life in the name of Jesus. I prayed for protection as she walked the streets door knocking and raising money. When I opened my eyes she was crying  tears of appreciation, repeating softly over and over again, “thank you so much, thank you so much, thank you so much”.

I told her about Jesus and that God loved her. It was amazing to see the Holy Spirit take my Blessing and activate something in her heart to the Gospel, all in the space of 5 mins.

So the message is: 

Make Yourself a Blessing to Others

and See what God will Do!

In conclusion; I want to leave you with a Blessing. Recently I felt inspired to make a video of my son David’s singing that anointed song “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. I want it to be Blessing to you as it has been to many others. So please take the time to listen and try an absorb the significance of the Cross of Christ and the words of this song upon your life.


When I Survey



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