was writing some notes for one of the Bible reading booklets which are designed for young people, and the Editor asked me to put in one or two prayer pointers, in the belief that young people need help in praying.
Well, I am going to quote you one of the things I put, and then you see whether you agree with me.
I said that I thought people should be definite in the things to ask for. The example I quoted was the prayer that most people say; ‘God bless so and so’.
What do we expect, what do we want, when we ask God to bless someone? Do we mean anything more than the comedians who, after telling a string of suggestive jokes, say: ‘Well, goodnight and God Bless you’? As much as to say – ‘you see I’m really a good hearted chap after all’.
Does ‘Bless’ mean more than just ‘good luck’? When you pray for someone, instead of saying ‘bless so and so’ say exactly what you mean.
These brief messages were originally given over the church’s daily telephone service. Often I end by saying ‘the Lord bless you’. Let me tell you what I mean by it. I mean ‘may the Lord give you what you are really seeking, may He tell you what you really need to know. May He make you a more real person’. That is a real blessing – to make you an honest, loving, sincere person. Today the Lord bless you.
Now read: Matthew 6: 5-15.