It's sobering to remember that about a year ago most of us found ourselves in the early stages of a pandemic lockdown. At first, we thought the restrictions would last for just a couple of weeks. Flatten the curve; slow the spread of the virus. Then weeks stretched into months. And more months.
Early on I wrote a note to my building management company, pleading with them to keep the exercise room, pool and other amenities open. I argued for personal responsibility. I received no response—and pretty quickly realized we had no voices in the looming shutdowns.
In fact, one day I discovered a brand-new plunger in front of my door—and all the other doors in my complex. There was no explanation, but the message was clear: You are now on your own!
We had no idea how much this pandemic would affect our daily lives. Churches moved to online services; businesses began relying on Zoom interactions; schools eliminated in-person classroom teaching; masks covered our smiles; and most of us felt isolated from family and friends.
It has been a season fraught with challenges, disappointments, fears and restrictions.
May His Favor Be Upon You
But out of this tsunami of change arose an anthem that brought hope and encouragement to people around the world. "The Blessing" song by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Elevation Worship swept the internet as people were confined to their homes.
"The Blessing" was first popular through the original artists, but the performances grew to include multiple people in a variety of languages harmonizing on Zoom calls. By mid-pandemic, virtual choirs were singing the hymn in more than 160 languages.
The song's simplicity, based on an ancient Scripture, captures our attention and causes our spirits to soar. The lyrics are taken from Numbers 6:24–26 (often referred to as the Aaronic blessing):
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace."
The artists continue the song lyrics with the hope that the Lord's favor will rest on your family, your children, your children's children and a thousand generations. It's a blessing prayer that has no end!
"The Blessing" received a Grammy nomination and a Dove Award for Worship Recorded Song of the Year in 2020. Just think of it—a prayer of blessing from the days of Moses still ministers to millions of people around the world in the midst of a pandemic. I'm sure Aaron never imagined that the priestly blessing he offered over the people of Israel would be set to contemporary worship music thousands of years later and sent simultaneously to the ends of the earth.
Prayer for the Ages
The most recent episode of Pray Beyond on the Charisma Podcast Network is devoted to the power of blessing prayer, which typically includes asking God for favor, peace and increase. Carol Madison, editor of Prayer Connect magazine and host Jon Graf share from the recent issue of Prayer Connect, which has the theme "Prayers of Blessing." Learn the meaning of blessing prayer, including the idea of blessing the Lord and each other, and the challenge of blessing our enemies—and how God uses that obedience to bring healing in relationships.
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