Friday, September 13, 2013

The Power of an Ordinary Prayer by Michael W. Smith

We Christians are to be people who bless others. But if you are like me, you wonder how to do that. How do you pray for others? What can you say?

A few years ago Smith realized that a big part of his life had been a result of others speaking blessings over him. The idea of praying a blessing over others became an important concept for him. In 2011 he wrote A Simple Blessing (see my review of that book here). When I read that book two years ago, I was impressed with the prayer of blessing Michael wrote.

Now his message has been adapted into a less imposing gift book. Included are the biblical principles that can help you turn your spiritual life into one where you experience the true joy of blessing others.

The prayer Michael prays over others has been divided into six specific blessings. He gives the particular section of his prayer, explains the prayer, and gives practical suggestions on opening oneself to the blessing and then sharing it with others.

The prayer of blessing begins:
In the name of Jesus Christ,
I bless you with the promises of God,
which are “yes” and “amen.”

Michael explores the idea of blessing and that it comes only from the Spirit fulfilling our deepest need, a close relationship with our Creator. He wants us to awaken to that reality and carry that through to praying for others. He also hopes that we will ourselves become actively involved in being God's instrument as a blessing to others.

Next is praying for spiritual health:
May the Holy Spirit make you healthy
and strong in body, mind, and spirit
to move in faith and expectancy.
May God's angels be with you to
protect and keep you.

And that is about a fourth of the prayer. With the same passion and insight, Michael continues exploring the remaining parts of his prayer: praying for a pure mind, praying for personal holiness, praying for backyard blessings, praying for spiritual victory.

Michael is quick to note that there is nothing magical about this prayer. It is not some formula to manipulate God into guaranteeing you, or anyone else, an abundant life. That is not the purpose of this book by any means.

Michael's prayer is that this book and his prayer of blessing will inspire you to be holy and to participate in the work of God by being a blessing to others. Yes, God wants to bless you, Michael writes. “And he wants you to bless others through his gifts to you.” (122)

I challenge you to read this book. It will inspire you to take the focus off yourself when you pray and begin to focus on blessing others.

Michael has included Scripture and quotes from others as well as questions for reflection and action, along with space for journaling.

Michael W. Smith is a multiple-time Grammy and Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter. He has recorded more than twenty-two albums and written numerous hit songs. He has also written several best-selling books. He and his wife have five children and live in Nashville.

Worthy Publishing, 128 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing for the purpose of this review.

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