OVERFLOWING WITH HOPE – Intro to Lesson 13 – April 13 – 20

Do you ever offer a prayer of blessing for your friends before you say good-bye to them?  It may be after you have had dinner together or at the end of a special vacation.  It more likely happens after a hospital visit or when some serious concerns have been discussed.  A blessing is described as “receiving or asking for God’s favor and acknowledging God as the source of wellbeing and happiness.”  When you pray for someone and ask God to bless them in a specific way, it is not only an encouragement but they will become aware of the ways in which they might see God at work in the future.

Starting with Abraham and for many generations to follow we know from the Old Testament it was an important event when  fathers gave their children a final blessing.  Often these words included information about their inheritance, their strengths and even prophetic words about their future.  In Mark’s gospel, we are told that Jesus called the little children to come to Him and as He took them in His arms, He blessed them.  In many of Paul’s letters to individuals and to the various churches, we can read his prayers as he asked God to bless them in very specific ways.  Isn’t it amazing how timely these blessings continue to be for you and for me personally?  They are also a wonderful resource for us to use when we want to express to God the desires of our hearts on the behalf of someone else.

As Paul ended is letter to the Romans he asked God to bless these believers in this way: “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

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