The Power to Bless: How to Speak Life . . . (BakerBooks, 2021)
Alan Wright, lead pastor of Reynolda Church in North Carolina, wrote The Power to Bless: How to Speak Life and Empower the People You Love in 2021. In the Introduction, Pastor Wright defines blessing as “an affirming, positive vision spoken with faith, love, and discernment over someone’s life.”
Furthermore, God designed us to crave blessing. And the power of that blessing resides in the deeper, eternal treasures of God’s grace. Thus, the essential gifts of biblical blessing center on security, freedom, fruitfulness, and favor. Above all, God desires that you thrive in the power of this blessing. However, when you don’t feel blessed, there’s no end to how hard you’ll work to attain the blessing you crave. For unblessed souls struggle, since they rarely feel comfortable in their own skin. In fact, Pastor Wright stresses, God’s so ordained the practice of blessing that our future fruitfulness depends on it. Because blessing provides the power for productivity, not the reward for it.
Most significantly, blessing, like all grace, must be given without any conditions. More than reciting the words, blessing involves giving people new lives so they see themselves as God sees them. Therefore, blessing reflects a consistent commitment to help others gain a godly vision of their lives. Hence, in blessing others, we partner with God to release the essence of His adopting love. In the process, blessing points to hope in the midst of suffering. Rather than explain that suffering. So, blessing consists of grace – not advice – put into words. Instead of highlighting the doubts of others, blessing enables you to extend your own trust in God.
In addition, Pastor Wright underscores, we need to treasure the favor of God more than skill and intelligence. Because God’s favor can do for us what we could never accomplish on our own. And anything is possible when we live by God’s favor rather than personal ambition. As a result, blessing others represents one of the most powerful expressions of faith on earth. Pastor Wright refers to this as sanctified imagination. This dynamic blessing gives people faith. Instead of telling them they ought to have more faith. This helps them see the places in their lives where the Lord’s present – only they don’t know it.
Finally, Pastor Wright counsels, the seeds of blessing take time to grow – so show patience. To live a fruitful, joyful life, you must learn to bless, not curse, yourself. Because when you consistently curse yourself enough, you subconsciously want to prove your forecast true. But when you contemplate your heavenly Father’s affection, that’s the beginning of blessing yourself. And for real transformation to occur, you need both truth and grace. Powerful blessing starts with prayer and is rooted in God’s Word. So kneel in the Spirit to be loaded with the Master’s treasures. As Pastor Wright encourages:
“You are not defined by the pain of the past but by the plans of God.”