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  • Sylvia A. Howard

The Blessing




Since our son graduated college he’s lived any where from five hours by car to ten hours by plane from us. We so enjoy the anticipation as we count down the days until he visits. My husband makes sure he clears his calendar for one-on-one time. I plan menus (all of his favorites, of course) and shop for all the necessary ingredients. Sheets are washed, his bed is made, and we wait for the car to pull in the driveway.


When he arrives, oh, the joy! Bright smiles are across every face, hugs and slaps on the back are exchanged and a few stolen kisses, too! A hundred questions are asked as we catch up with one another. Meals are enjoyed and coffee is brewed and sipped over deep conversations. Time flies and before we know it, it’s time for him to leave.


A few months ago, we huddled to pray in the carport before he left to return home. My husband put his arms around us and prayed. After that prayer, I was moved by the Holy Spirit to bless my son. I had recently read about the blessings of the Patriarchs on their children. I reached up to put my hands on the top of his 5’11” head (I’m 5’3”) and I prayed a blessing over him. It was a short prayer. I prayed that God would go before him and bless his future, that God would go beside him and bless his daily endeavors, and that God would go behind him and bless and redeem his past. I then prayed a Scripture verse over him related to a problem he was dealing with. When we opened our eyes, he gave me a sheepish grin and I grabbed each side of his head and kissed each cheek as I imagine the patriarchs of the Old Testament did. Since then, God has shown me the significance of that day and why blessing my son is important.


1. The blessing lets my son know that I’m on his side. I may not always agree with what he does, but he knows that I love him unconditionally and will intercede for him through good and bad times.


2. The blessing breaks any dysfunctional bondage from previous generations. I never received a blessing from my parents. I never heard my parents tell me they loved me or that they were proud of me. I have no bitterness or resentment; it’s just a fact of my life. The blessing to my son breaks that cycle and begins a new custom for future generations.


3. The blessing speaks the truth of God’s word over my son. It reminds my son what God’s word says over his life and helps negate what the world is saying to him. It empowers him to live in truth.


4. The blessing speaks life into the future of my son. I dare to pray big things over my son. After all, God’s Word promises that God, “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Oh, how I want God to do great things through my son, not for his glory or this mother’s glory, but for Christ’s alone!


So, the next time you pray over your children, bless them! Set in motion the spiritual power that’s within your reach to break down barriers for God to use them. Andy Stanley said, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” May our prayers for our sons and daughters impact the world for Christ beyond anything we ask or imagine.


Much love,





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Sylvia A. Howard

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