The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.' So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them." Numbers 6:22-27
Do you ever have trouble knowing how to pray for your children? I do. My prayers too often default into worn out requests that lack specifics. But today's passage gives great help in putting power into praying for our families.
The prayer was given to Moses for Aaron. It is called the "Priestly Blessing" or sometimes the "Aaronic Benediction." Notice that God's name Yahweh (LORD) is repeated three times in this short prayer. This repetition emphasizes the person and work of God. There are seven requests made. Let's consider three today and the remaining four tomorrow.
The Lord bless you ... The word bless means to "provide favor or benefit." Father, we pray that for our children. You are the eternal God. Please place Your great kindness and advantage on those we love. May they be approved and favored by You.
... and keep you ... The Hebrew word keep means to "watch, guard, defend." This is a prayer for protection. Father, my children are not perfect. They are going to make mistakes. But please watch over them and guard them against mistakes that are unalterable. Please defend them against temptation. Protect them against Satan who desires to devour them.
... the LORD make his face shine upon you ... This is a request for God's presence. Father, as a parent I know that I can't be with my children all the time, but You can. Just like they feel the warmth of the sun shining, please allow them to experience Your presence. Thank You for being with them wherever they go. In Jesus' name. Amen.