22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 "Tell Aaron and his sons how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 The Lord bless you and protect you; 25 the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace. 27 In this way they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them." — Numbers 6:22-27
A Prayer of Blessing
by Sara Stacy
Avenue South Campus
I love this prayer of blessing Moses gives Aaron to pray over the Israelites. It reflects Moses’ giving the people to Aaron, as Aaron and his sons step into leadership. Through this blessing, Moses is telling Aaron, “I recognize the Lord’s leading in you. God Himself has called you to lead them into the Promised Land.”
The Lord God Himself ordained these words to be spoken aloud over the Israelites, words affirming their relationship with Him. This relationship would be known to any foreigner who encountered them. He was the source of all blessings, and only He could give them promises and faithfully keep them.
When we are in relationship with others—whether that relationship be in the home, at work, at school or within the church walls—we are given the opportunity to be a blessing through prayer. God, through Moses, shows us that we are to be praying blessing on the people we are with, whether that’s as a teacher, LIFE Group leader or member. We pray about others’ struggles and hardships, and for their health and well-being—but do we get at the crux of what Moses is sharing here with Aaron?
Digging deeper into this prayer, we see that it’s not about Moses blessing Aaron or the people of Israel, but about God who is the source of all blessing. It’s an affirmation that the Lord is sovereign over all in both giving and protecting. He knows what we need before we need it, and He is the stronghold in Whom we find refuge and safety.
We also call out for God to shine His face upon those we are in relationship with, to be gracious to them. That means we desire that He would show them special favor, and that He would be merciful in hearing their words. We go to them saying, “I know God will hear you, because He delights in you.” We are affirming the Lord’s love for them in this blessing.
Lastly, it shows that God notices them and that He is the giver of peace—a true peace which is eventually established in Christ Himself. All of this is so that God’s name would be made known through the Israelites—and through us—to the nations and peoples beyond.
As we learn how to love well in healthy relationships, this includes loving through prayers of blessing. Perhaps it means being the blessing to others, in order to share the prayer of blessing on their lives. Even as we yearn for these gifts in our own lives, do we allow ourselves to love others enough to want them for them as well?
- In thinking about how Moses turned leadership over to Aaron through the sharing of God’s word for him, how are you able to mentor someone to prepare them to step into leadership?
- As you read through this prayer of blessing, who comes to your mind? Who needs to be prayed over and blessed today? Take time to pray a blessing like this one over someone you are in relationship with: your spouse, child, friend, coworker or neighbor.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.