Create a new habit today that will influence your child for years to come.
Are you looking for a simple yet powerful way to affirm your child’s faith? You can speak a blessing over them at night or in the morning and start a good new habit with your child that will bless them for years.
The book, The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent, talks about the power of speaking a blessing over your child. In Bible times, fathers would put their hand over their children’s heads to give them a blessing for their future (see Genesis 48). We can do the same for our children now, and they will experience multiple blessings from this practice.
I started doing this with my children years ago after hearing a teaching in a Focus on the Family broadcast. The speaker said we don’t have to be super skilled in praying aloud. We should not let our fears and insecurities about prayer get in the way of blessing our children.
You can be creative and make up your own blessing, or you can use a repeated blessing each time. The Bible gives us several blessings we can speak over our children if we don’t want to make them up ourselves. Here are two of my favorites:
‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
There are a few simple parts of speaking a blessing over your child. These are the ones I do each time:
1. Speak the blessing in a quiet, unrushed time when you have your child’s full attention, and when you can devote your full attention to your child. Bedtime is ideal for a blessing time, since you can make it a part of your child’s calming routine before bed.
2. Place your hand on your child’s head or shoulders while giving the blessing. The physical touch will create a warm, loving, tactile memory for your child.
3. Use your child’s name in the blessing. This personalizes the blessing for them.
4. Speak God’s Word or your own words over your child. Keep it brief to respect your child’s shorter attention span.
5. If your child has something specific going on in his or her life that needs prayer, include it in the blessing. For example, you could add, “May God help you with your test tomorrow.”
6. Depending on your child’s age, ask them if they want you to include anything specific in the blessing. Older children love to participate with their own ideas.
My children have enjoyed receiving their nighttime blessings even into their teen years. Sometimes, they would even return the favor and put their hand on my head, then speak a blessing over me! Our blessing times are precious memories now, and I am thankful God led me to speak blessings over them starting when they were young.
No matter the age of your children now, you can start speaking blessings over them. When you do this, you will strengthen their faith and help them know that they are loved not only by you, but by their Father in heaven.
Sarah Geringer is a writer, speaker, podcaster, artist, book launch manager, creative coach, and author of six books who writes about finding peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com. She is on the devotional writing teams for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Hope-Full Living, Kingdom Edge Magazine, and Woman 2 Woman Ministries. Sarah is a fifth-generation resident of southeast Missouri, where she lives with her three teens and beloved Labrador retrievers.