For years, I have missed out on a great blessing. But I received that blessing this morning. I have viewed my beginning of the year prayer focus as my time. I wake early, before my children, for extra time in prayer.

This year, I was inspired by a friend to gather my children with me each day for focused prayer. Every morning, we gather together to watch our church’s prayer service online. Then we pray. Simple. It’s not really new for us, because we usually spend time praying together. But my children are now part of our corporate, focused season of prayer.

My blessing really came this morning. Our entire family went to our prayer service at church together. My heart was overjoyed as I watched my children praying over others’ prayer cards. They were interceding for deep troubles. They interceded for children, the sick, broken families, prisoners.

Walking into church, there were many grumbles about not wanting to go. But leaving, they were singing a different story. One child commented on how fast the hour seemed to pass. Another one is begging to go again at 6am Monday!

One of my sons gathered with me to write this, and we have had such fun researching verses containing the word “gather”.

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (NASB)

God created us for unity in the Church. He created us for community. He desires to be present among us collectively. So it just makes sense that we would gather together to pray.

Matthew 24:28 – “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” (NIV)

That verse, out of context, was just really fun for a boy!

Genesis 49 – My favorite was the story about Jacob gathering his twelve sons right before his death. He blessed each of them.

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: ‘Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come’…All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.” Genesis 49:1, 28 (NIV)

When I gather with others to pray – my children, my husband, my friends, my co-laborers in ministry – I want to follow Jacob’s example and pray God’s blessing over them.

Sometimes I need help getting started, so I simply pray blessings out of Scripture. As I write these words, I pray this blessing over you also.

Numbers 6:24-26 – “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.” (NIV)

Ephesians 3:14-21 – “I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (NIV)

Now that’s a blessing!

Will you receive it today? Then, will you gather with someone else and pray a blessing for them?

Today’s Challenge:

Gather with someone to pray.

Then pray a blessing over them.

Simple? Yes.

But only if you take the first step to actually do it.