What does it mean to speak a blessing over a child? This is a question I had to ask myself a few weeks ago after friend of mine asked me to say a blessing/prayer over a pregnant mother at her shower.
When God blessed Abraham in Genesis, He was speaking a promise over his future. And this blessing, along with other blessings spoken by God over His people, was dependent upon the obedience of the one being blessed. When Isaac blessed Jacob instead of Esau, everyone understood that the blessing had power and that lack of blessing was truly a loss. When Israel spoke a blessing over his twelve sons, there was recognition that blessings can be dependent upon the character of the one being blessed. Blessings in the Bible hold a promise of peace, prosperity, health, safety, goodness, holiness, godly offspring, comfort, insight, and even laughter.
It is always a privilege to be able to speak a blessing over someone, particularly over an unborn child, a precious creation that is loved by Jesus. This is the prayer of blessing that I will continue to pray over my niece and her daughter, as well as my own children and grandchildren – a prayer of calling, salvation, character, holiness, and purpose.
A Baby's Blessing
Lord, we thank you that you have formed this child in her mother’s inmost being - that you have knit and are continuing to knit her in her mother’s womb. You have created this baby perfectly for the call you have on her life. We marvel at the fact that all of her days are ordained for her even now.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
Lord, we know that even now you are calling this child out of darkness into your marvelous light. We pray that she will answer that call and that your will is fulfilled in her life – that you will bring this child into the kingdom of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13
As this child learns to yield to the Holy Spirit in her life, we pray that you will fill her with the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We pray that the fruit of this child’s life will bless all who know her, including family. As this baby is born into a world full of fear, I pray that she will be a beacon of hope, peace, love, and light to all.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-23
We pray for a spirit of holiness over this baby. We pray that you will make her path clear to her even at a young age. I pray that when faced with hard choices, she will choose a path of holiness and righteousness and that she will learn to deny herself, take up her cross daily, and follow you. I pray that her parents will fan into flame a strong faith in this child that will never fail.
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. 2 Timothy 1:6-9
Finally, Lord, we pray that you will bless the parents with wisdom and insight to see clearly the talents and spiritual gifts that you have given to this child. Help them to thoughtfully and purposely train this baby and teach this child in order to develop, equip, and prepare her to fully walk in the good works that she was created in Christ to complete. We pray that in following the will of Christ for her life, this wonderful creation will find inexpressible joy and peace all of her life.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13