Healing Line

Healing Line

Rediscovering the Ministry of Blessing

by Russ Parker
Nov/Dec 2011

I was the key-note speaker at a conference for Roman Catholic prayer leaders in Italy and was launching my new book Forgiveness is Healing at the same time. When I arrived I discovered that my book had been published without my knowledge into Italian and this version was selling remarkably well whereas my own, official copy of the book remained unsold. Needless to say, I was very concerned and upset. In the middle this discovery, a woman came up to me and not only asked me to sign her copy of the offending book but also to pray for her! I did my best to swallow my pride, signed her book and then laid hands on her head and prayed (in English without a translator), “Lord! Give this woman the biggest blessing she can live with.” She immediately rested in the Spirit and was healed. In a matter of moments I had a queue of people clamouring for prayer ministry and as I could not speak Italian, I prayed the same prayer over each of them and in rapid succession. Virtually all of them rested in the Spirit as God healed people from deafness, blindness, physical pain and terminal cancer. It took my breath away! When I sat down with God after three days of almost non-stop praying in this way and reflected on what had happened, the Lord showed me that I was sharing with Him in the power of blessing.

Blessing is a Ministry

The Apostle Peter reminds his readers that part of their calling and commissioning from God was to exercise the ministry of blessing. “Do not repay evil for evil...but on the contrary, repay with a blessing for it is for this that you were called - that you might inherit a blessing (1Peter 3:9). He tells us that this is not only a holy attitude we cultivate but it is a calling, it is our ministry as believers in Jesus. We all, therefore, have this calling. This ministry was formerly limited as a mandate to the priestly tribe of Levi. Part of their temple ministry was to stand before the Lord and bless people and things in God’s name and authority (Deuteronomy 10:8). Now it is the birthright and calling of all of Jesus’ disciples.

Blessings are Pronounced Not Prayed For

Blessings are gifts of grace and prophecy to people; it is faith speech under the authority of God to bring people into the benefits of God’s loving-kindness. Jesus pronounced blessings on the poor in the spirit that theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3). God commands the blessing of eternal life on those who live in the unity of spirit (Psalm 133:3). Throughout Scripture we find God, Jesus and the saints pronouncing blessings on people and places. We should learn to do the same. Roy Godwin, a retired businessman prayed that God would use him in a new way to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ. He and his wife Daphne had taken on the leadership role of a small retreat centre in the wilds of the Welsh mountains and Roy was being challenged as to how he could achieve his passion in such a remote place. Soon visitors began to arrive, many of them curious to know about this small place, tucked in a remote corner in the Preselli Mountains of South Wales. He would show them around and his last parting moment with them was to pray a prayer of blessing over them. It was this prayer of blessing that seemed to unlock the windows of heaven as people were overcome with the love of God for the first time in their lives. What began as a trickle of visitors has since increased into a huge flow of people from around the world coming to Ffald-y-brenin (Sheepfold of the King) to receive this blessing and find healing and salvation in the most surprising of ways.

The Purpose of Blessing

Blessings have a divine purpose. They are not just nice words spoken over people to make them feel good about themselves. Blessings carry heaven’s DNA of the Spirit to empower people to connect with God and his purposes for their lives. Here are three main objectives of this ministry:

A. Blessings bring God closer. Remember the familiar blessing of Aaron? It comes after a section of rules on purity and vows to be kept in order to walk closely with God. Moses is then instructed to give Aaron and his sons this commission to bless people so that the blessing has the same and if not more powerful effect of being brought close to God than all the rule-keeping in the world.

The Scripture continues to teach that when this blessing is pronounced it will have the effect of God putting his name on the people (Numbers 6:27). In other words, everyone will see and know that these blessed people belong to God, and he has put the seal of his abiding presence into their circumstances.

B. Blessings connect us with heaven’s destiny for our lives. At the beginning of Paul’s great letter to the Ephesian church he tells them that Jesus has blessed them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:2-14). He continues to say how this blessing paves the way for us to take up our destiny as the adopted children of God and live it out in the here and now. All God’s blessings are for us to live out God’s destiny for us. So, as you pronounce blessing over people, listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying so that you are led to speak specific goals and insights from God so that this high destiny will be embraced and lived out.

C. Blessings are a breakthrough in Spiritual Warfare. Many times in Scripture we are exhorted not to give in to temptation and repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse but rather to do something totally different. We are to bless (Luke 6v:28; Romans 12v:14; 1Peter 3v:9). Too many times we hear of saints who have tried to battle in prayer to overcome or change the heart of someone who has either offended them or a family member who has hurt them because they have rejected the Christian faith in which they were nurtured. They have prayed earnestly but all too often it has been from the perspective of battling with the person. What is sad is that the other person is often aware of how we see them and it has the effect of hardening their hearts. We need to realise that sometimes when we make pronouncements about other people needing to change and do not see the change needed in us, it has the effect of cursing them because a curse is a heartfelt pronouncement. Rather, Jesus says we are to pronounce blessings on them! So if your heart is aching and wounded because someone you love has rejected you or your faith, try asking God to help you pronounce the biggest blessing over their lives that they can live with. I think of my brother-in-law who would summon up all the bad mouthing he could think of when we met. He totally threw me off balance. I realized that when I prayed for his salvation I would ask God to shake up his life and then convert him. Nothing happened except my pain and aggression were disguised as intercession. God challenged me to bless him instead. This I did, reluctantly at first to be honest. However, in time I noticed a change in him and today he is my brother in Christ and he now prays for me.

Conclusion

I believe that we need to recover a new respect and practise of the ministry of blessing. It is a heaven-sent resource with powerful effects and I am sure that the King of the Kingdom is waiting for us to take up our calling to be the people who are blessed and who bless everybody else so they too can come to know this King and move on into their heaven-sent destiny.

Editor’s Note: We have decided that because Russ is English not to correct or Americanize the spelling of his words to bless his rich inheritance and influence in England.
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Russ Parker Russ Parker is a member of CHM's National Advisory Board and works in England as the Director for Acorn Christian Healing. Magazine Issue

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