5 Stars Out Of 5
How to Pray Prayers of Blessing is Awesome
September 9, 2013
Our God is an Awesome God, and He gave Michael W. Smith an awesome gift! We all knew that Michael could write awesome music, but he also writes a great book.
In The Power of an Ordinary Prayer, Michael W. Smith shares his beautifully written Prayer of Blessing with us. As it was for our Patriarchs, Michael believes that praying a blessing over others is a powerful practice. It's not powerful in the way that the "Prosperity Doctrine" or "Name it, Claim it" preachers promise. This prayer practice won't invoke magic and it won't manipulate God. What this prayer practice will do is move your spiritual life out of the mundane and into a beautiful experience, for you as the Blesser, and for the one you bless with your prayer.
Michael W. Smith's Prayer of Blessing is broken down into sections, which are explained in each chapter.
Like his piano resonates the music Michael creates for worship, when we become an instrument of blessing, God's blessings can resonate through us. But, if we keep God's blessing to ourselves, it's an incomplete blessing. To complete God's blessings in our lives, we must learn how to let God's blessing pass through us, His instrument, to others. If we learn to do this, we may just experience those "mountaintop" experiences that Michael discusses in this book.
Active involvement as an instrument of God's blessings is the key to countering today's "me" culture. It is not about acquiring material things, as the prosperity preachers push. Our blessings from God are not a promise of prosperity and comfort. Michael explains the life of the Apostle Paul as an example. Paul was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, hungry, thirsty, cold and naked. Yet because of Christ, Paul was exceedingly joyful. If we die to ourselves and live for Christ, God will give us true joy, true peace, and His grace.
Discover what a "backyard blessing is." We cannot keep focusing on ourselves, and our own backyard, as the sole Bless-ees of God's attention. To become a "Blesser of Others," Michael shows us how to develop a pure mind, how to avoid the contamination of this culture, and how to refuse to lower the bar to justify our failures. He also suggests we give up the "anti-heroes" of today's entertainment industry that we have put up on a pedestal. Role models are good motivators for us in tough times, as long as they are the right role models.
Michael speaks at length about how we should begin as a Blesser, by teaching our family Christ-like behavior, and by laying the groundwork of right and wrong, including discipline. It is through family that we learn true sacrificial love and servanthood. When we become a blessing to our family by living and modeling a holy life, our family becomes a blessing to us.
Michael then walks us through desiring the right blessings on our own lives. Our prayers must rise higher than career success, money, or pleasure. As a tone-deaf person will probably never be a successful Christian music Dove award winner, to be truly blessed, our requests must line-up with the blessings that God has for our lives.
What I especially liked about "The Power of an Ordinary Prayer" is that it could also be used as a personal journal or as a Bible or small-group study. The end of each chapter includes a "For Reflection and Action" section, where challenging questions for the reader are posed and space is provided for journal answers. Notable quotes from pilgrims of the faith and Scripture verses that pertain to the chapter topic are woven throughout the book. Also included are beautiful photos in sepia, which will lend an aura of calm for the reader. Michael's Introduction will be a blessing to the reader, as well. A beautiful book.
Don't let the size of this book make you think this a fluff-piece. Michael W. Smith is a humble, Christian man with a very unique flair for words. I am confident that you will want to pray this Prayer of Blessing over your loved ones. This is an extremely well-written book, jam-packed with practical, biblical information that every Christian should know about prayers of blessing, an important topic that is hardly ever addressed today.
As the book begins with his personal Prayer of Blessing, Michael poignantly ends his book with the most notable prayer of blessing:
The Lord Bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24 NASB
Michael W. Smith is truly an instrument of God's blessings. If you read this review, Michael, please convert your Prayer of Blessing into a song. I know that it will be Awesome, like our God!