“Stan,” I asked one morning, “do you think you need to pray and ask for blessings?”
“I do not specifically pray to be blessed by God,” Stan responded. “I do not think that wanting to be blessed can or should be my motivation for praying.”
Continuing, he said, “Blessings flow from my obedience. And obedience flows from my love for God. I think that God is delighted to bless me, but I also think He wants my love and obedience more than He wants my prayers for blessings.”
“So,” I replied, “if you don’t think you should be praying to be blessed, what should a person do to be blessed? How should they pray?”
“In the Old Testament,” Stan replied, “God said that blessings will come from obedience. In the New Testament, it is recorded that Jesus said that if I love Him I will obey His commandments.”
“Thus,” he continued, “I pray for two things in this regard. First, for being filled with love of God. Second, for the desire to be obedient.”
“If I love and obey, blessings will flow. I think that if I pray and ask God to bless me without seeking to love and to obey Him, I will have missed the mark.”
“But,” I responded, “aren’t people blessed without loving and obeying, such as where the rain falls on the just and the unjust?”
“They may be blessed,” Stan replied, “but they haven’t received the blessing as coming from God. The matter of receiving blessings is another subject for another day. The point here is that I do not believe I should be praying to be blessed.”
“Love and obey. The blessings will flow.”
And all of these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:2.
If you love Me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to bless me. Thank you that you have blessed me and that you continually pour out your blessings as I love and obey you. I confess that too often I want your blessings without loving and obeying you as you want. Please forgive me. And please move in me to make your will perfectly clear that you want and expect my love and obedience so that I will receive your blessings, not that I will be blessed so I will love you. I may get your blessings without acknowledging and receiving them as coming from you, but I know that is not what you want. Please help me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.