Holy Father, here You depict another way I desire to be like Israel. He was able to speak words of blessing over his sons and grandsons before he died. I pray that my words would be a blessing to my children.
So many times I open my mouth before I speak, and blessing is not what results. Father, train me in the ability to speak the truth in love. Set a watch over my mouth to stop unthinking or hurtful words before they are spoken, and damage is done. Once spoken and heard, words cannot be unheard.
I believe Israel was speaking and giving blessings from You. You must have revealed to him what to say to each son, where to put his hands for the blessing, even as he intentionally switched his hands to bless Joseph’s sons. This was not according to the tradition of the time. Neither was the blessing where he gave Judah leadership of the house of Israel and Joseph the double portion. Those both should have been passed to the oldest. Oh Lord, let me be so close to You that I also hear what You are telling me and let me be obedient even if it goes against the traditions of man or of the times.
When his work was done, Israel “drew his feet up into his bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” Israel finished the work You sent him to do. O God, do not let me outstay my usefulness to You. Please don’t leave me here one minute beyond what is necessary. I want to do and be all You have sent me here for. But I so desire to be with You rather than in the dimness of this earth. Knowing what awaits me as a believer, it is hard to remain here.
One way I seek to bless my children is by using the words You have given. Today I pray these words for my sons by inserting their names:
“O Lord, answer _______ when he is in distress;” (place in his heart the desire to call out to You, and let him hear Your voice above all else going on in his life) “may the name of the God of Jacob protect _______.” (protect his life, his health, his relationships, his mind, his emotions, his spirit, his work, his comings, his goings)
“May You send _______ help from Your sanctuary” (where You sit enthroned and have angels to be Your messengers and do Your bidding) “and grant him support from Zion. “
“Would You give _______ the desire of his heart” (and remove any desires that would take him away from You) “and make all his plans succeed.” (as You direct his steps)
“We will shout for joy when _______ is victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God!” Amen !