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Practicing Community Exercise: Blessings

Practicing Community Exercise: Blessings

This is an exercise created to help groups reflect thoughtfully on the felt experience together in light of shared values and goals. We occasionally refer to this type of exercise in our small group material and thoughts below are shared within the context of a small group.

Why practice blessing one another?

In Numbers 23-24 we see a story of God blessing his people through a pagan prophet who meant to curse them. Blessing another is an art that is not often practiced in the church today. 

Dallas Willard writes, “Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. It isn't just words. It's the actual putting forth of your will for the good of another person. It always involves God, because when you will the good of another person, you realize only God is capable of bringing that. So we naturally say, "God bless you."”

Practice blessing one another. In Numbers 6:22-26 we see God instructing Moses and Aaron HOW to bless his people. 

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
“‘“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.”’

Group exercise: 

  1. Break up into pairs. 
  2. Take turns speaking this blessing from Numbers over one another. Speak slowly, trying as best you can to maintain eye contact. If you are receiving the blessing do your best to give the speaker your full attention.
  3. As you speak, try to posture your heart towards the person you are blessing remembering they are created in the image of God and God wants good things and fullness of life for them. If you are receiving the blessing, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and allow you to fully receive this as a gift from God. 
  4. When you are ready, speak the following blessing over one another:

The Lord bless you.  
 
And keep you; Pause.
 
The Lord make his face shine on you
 
And be gracious to you; Pause.
 
The Lord turn his face towards you
 
And give you peace.  Pause.

  1. When everyone in pairs has had a turn blessing and being blessed come back together into your small group and ask, what was that experience like for you?