The Daily Blessing

Boy with father's hand on top of his head
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./agefotostock
Jacob prayed for each of his 12 sons in a way that the Bible called a blessing (Genesis 49:1-28).

Aaron prayed for the congregation (Numbers 6:24-26).

Jesus blessed the children (Mark 10:13-14,16).

Do you do this for your family?

A blessing

About three years ago, John Waller, a contemporary Christian singer, and his wife, Josee, began a daily practice of blessing their children.

"I would put my right hand over [my] children’s heads and speak Scripture over them," John says.

He now encourages people in his audiences to pray for their spouses and children in a way that mimics that blessing given in the Bible. His album, The Blessing, mirrors this idea.

John is not the first to explore the prayers of Old Testament patriarchs and Jesus. The Parents’ Guide to the Spiritual Growth of Children breaks a biblical blessing into five elements:

  • meaningful touch,
  • words of acceptance,
  • respect toward the one being blessed,
  • a vision for his or her future,
  • and an active commitment to fulfill the blessing.

At first

When the Wallers began the daily blessing, the process felt odd. "Our children would giggle as if they were nervous about what we were doing. But now they expect it. If we forget to bless them, they remind us," John says. "Even when I don’t feel like giving a blessing, I choose to do it daily." Because the Wallers are consistent in their prayers, their children are learning to bless others, also.

When John finishes giving his 3-year-old a blessing, she’ll often say, "I want to bless you." Then she proceeds to place her hand on his head and sing the priestly blessing from the book of Numbers, which John put to music.

Few things fill his heart with joy like hearing his youngest sing, "Lord bless us and keep us, and make Your face shine upon us." 

This article first appeared on in January 2010.

Copyright © 2010 by Kristen Michalski. Used by permission. 

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