Building Brothers - Helping Church Leaders Build a Spiritual Home for Men

Power of a Father's Blessing

He entered my office one Thursday and it only required one glance to recognize that he was agitated, and uncomfortable, but yet extremely determined. Asking if I were Larry, he said that a friend had told him that he needed to see me. Looking over his shoulder, as if to see if anyone was listening, he asked if I could help him with his anger?

He began to tell me the sad account of his wife leaving with his three children, his father was in prison for child molestation (a repeat offender) and the bitterness he felt at the church for not believing him about his father’s abuses of children when he was younger.

I shared with him that the “well” I would be drawing upon would be solely based upon the Bible, the only place I had found genuine relief from my own personal struggles. Jim said, “Well, I do have another option, and I really can’t go along with that religion thing.”
So, he left disappointed.

The next day I was preparing a sermon for that weekend when I felt the Holy Spirit convey to me that Jim was in danger of his life-by suicide. I began to recall the events of the day prior and remembered Jim’s statement that “I do have another option.” I quickly contacted the friend who had referred him to me and she confirmed he had tried suicide in the past.

I got a hold of him and he was slowly convinced that he should come in to see me. After what seemed like an eternity, he did come in and the conversation was even more difficult than the day before. I just kept crying out to God silently, “Help me, Lord! What do I do? What do I say?!” Suddenly I felt the Holy Spirit saying, “You know that ‘father’s blessing’ you’ve prayed for young teen boys? Pray it for him.”

That was a terrifying thought to me, for I had only prayed that prayer for Christian youths who were disconnected from their fathers, and never for a grown man, let alone a non-Christian, who was a gruff prison employee, and angry at the church and all for which it stood.

I mustered my meager courage, crying out the whole while internally, and did say to Jim, “Jim, it is amazing to me that you are not angrier with your father for the ways he abandoned you and abused others. I can’t imagine how much that hurt you. God intended for us to be blessed through our fathers not cursed! Jim, you know, I’ve never been a father, but I have the strongest heart for fathering, and in fact I wonder if you wouldn’t allow me to pray a father’s blessing for you?” To my amazement, he said that would be alright.

I rolled my chair a bit closer to his and reaching out (in fear and trembling) said, “May we clasp hands as I pray?” Again I was amazed that he said, “Okay,” and recognized that God was indeed at work. Still crying out inside, I said, “Is it okay if I place my other hand on your shoulder as I pray?” Once again, I felt God’s marvelous direction as he again indicated in the affirmative.

But there was one more thing, I knew. The power I had felt in praying these prayers was greatly intensified by praying directly into the eyes of the recipient. Would this also be God’s intent here? I knew that I felt that it was God’s intent that I not vary in this element of the “father’s blessing” as I had come to know it. So, one last time I cried out, and asked Jim for permission to pray directly into his eyes.

Oh, the power of our God! In just moments as I began to pray, tears began to stream down Jim’s face, and just minutes after the prayer, Jim was praying to receive Christ into his life.

God has given us the tools to reconnect Him with lost generations-by reconnecting the generations ourselves in praying a father’s blessing on them.

Many, many times before and since I have seen God use the “father’s blessing” to break down huge barriers, and to begin to reestablish bonds. Since then (just a bit over a month ago) I’ve been blessed myself to use it in a maximum security prison, and see a strapping 6′ 5″ murderer reduced to tears and desire to reconnect to humanity after killing his entire family, grandfather, and brother’s girlfriend. Blessings are powerful. When they are generational in nature, even the more!

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