“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
Around the world, our cities are on fire—as are towns and villages in many places.
Covid19 has swept through with a vengeance, shutting down every sense of community that gives wholeness to our lives.
Protests and riots have reminded us that many of our neighbors are suffering and discriminated against. Persecution spreads. Fear has driven us deeper into isolation, further from each other.
I know that our God is weeping. He cares about cities. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He sent His followers to all the great cities of the Mediterranean. He cares about every nation, every tribe.
And He loves the people of every land.
The verse above expresses our God’s love and care for us.
His Heart Is to Bless
His heart is to bless.
Blessings are not just nice words. They are powerful for conveying the love of God to the people of this world.
What is blessing? To express good wishes or to offer prayer to God for someone’s welfare and benefit. What a wonderful thing—to ask for good to happen in another’s life.
God’s intention is to bless—and we are the conveyors of His blessing. We are His image to the world desperately needing Him. We reflect what He is like. God sent us out to reveal Himself.
Scripture is filled with promises and admonitions of blessing. These are just a few:
“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,…” (Proverbs 11:11)
“For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants;” (Isaiah 44:3)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Singing a Blessing
Thus the coming together of God’s children to sing The Blessing over their city and their nation is not just nice. It is a power of God’s goodness poured out through the united voices of God’s children. It scatters the darkness, fear, and evil, and allows God’s light to pour in.
Probably more than 100 songs of blessing have been recorded around the world. You can surely find one that blesses a place—and the people of that place—that you care about.
Probably my two favorites are The Blessing for my city, Orlando, and for New York City, which has suffered greatly.
I have listened to all of these, though there are many more: Original; Arab World; Australia; Canada; Hawaii; Hebrew; Irish (Be Thou My Vision, with Irish dancing, bagpipes); Kids (from around the world); Latin America; New York City; Nigeria; Orlando; Qatar (plus Rap); South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Symphonic; Zimbabwe.
I saved all I listed on Pinterest. You can find them here.
He Is for You
I am grateful to Kari Jobes, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Music for getting us started with their blessing for the world.
The words to the The Blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
Your family and your children
And their children, and their children.
May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In the morning, in the evening,
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you (He is for you), He is for you (He is for you)….
I sing along as I listen to each one. I love “…and give you peace.” Tears come with “a thousand generations, and your family, and your children and their children and their children.”
And at the end, every time, tears flow with these words every city, every nation, every person needs to hear in this desperate time in which we live: “He is for you. He is for you. He is for you. He is for you….”
God is for you!
My prayer is that you would be blessed and know that our God is for you! And that you will pass that blessing on—to your family, your neighbors, your church, your city, your nation, our world.
Be the blessing—the one through whom our God proves “He is for you!”
What about you? How have you been blessed? How can you bless?